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Libya's Azzawiya stops refining operations due to lack of crude

February 9, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Oil field in Libya, 7 September 2017 [Javier Blas/Wikipedia]

Libya’s Azzawiya Oil Refining Company said today that it was forced to stop refining operations due to a lack of crude supplies and no inventory, Reuters reports.

A source from the company, a subsidy of Libya’s state oil firm the National Oil Corporation (NOC), said two refining units with a capacity of 60,000 barrels each had stopped.

Oil output in Libya has fallen sharply since 18 January because of a blockade of ports and fields by groups loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar,

Libya’s oil production had dropped to 181,576 barrels per day (bpd) by Thursday from about 1.2 million bpd before the stoppage.

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The NOC said the losses from the blockade amount to about $1.042 billion.

On Thursday, UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame said he had talked to tribesmen behind the blockade and was awaiting their demands.

He also said the blockade would be at the top of the agenda at a meeting in Cairo today between representatives from eastern, western and southern Libya seeking to overcome economic divisions in a country with two governments.

In a sign that a reopening of ports might not be imminent, tribes and communities in oil-rich areas in eastern Libya held by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) said in a statement on Saturday they opposed resuming oil exports unless Tripoli was freed of militias.