Attack shuts major Libyan oil ports, slashing production

The major Libyan oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider were closed and evacuated on Thursday June 14th after they were attacked by the Benghazi Defence Brigades, who are opposed to the eastern commander Khalifa Haftar. The attack set alight at least one storage tank at Ras Lanuf and has resulted in a production loss of 240,000 bpd and the entry of a tanker due at Es Sider on June 14th was postponed.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has declared force majeure on loadings from both terminals.

More than half the storage tanks at both terminals had been badly damaged in previous fighting and are yet to be repaired.

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said the output loss was expected to rise to 400,000 bpd if the shutdown continued.

Crude exports from Ras Lanuf reached 110,000 bpd in May, while exports from Es Sider were around 300,000 bpd. The Minerva Lisa oil tanker, which was due to arrive at Es Sider to load a crude cargo on Thursday, was advised to stay outside the port. Reuters ship tracking showed that the tanker, chartered by trader Petraco, turned away from the port on the morning of June 14th without loading. A second tanker, the Seascout, was scheduled to arrive at the port today, June 18th.