Libya’s oil production remains unaffected by deadly floods

Libya’s state oil company said there had been no disruption to crude output following the recent flooding that caused two dams to collapse and the deaths of more than 10.000 people.

The oil-exporting ports in the east were unharmed by Storm Daniel and were operating normally, reported Farhat Bengdara, chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC). However, Amos Hochstein, senior adviser for energy to the Biden administration in the US, had said earlier on Bloomberg Radio that there had been some curtailments following the disaster.

Libya had shut export ports in the east during the storm over the weekend of September 9th and 10th, but had reopened them by September 12th. NOC said then that oil output was running at 1.2m barrels a day, but did not say what level production was at on Friday. Italian oil company Eni said the floods had not impacted its Libyan operations.

Although this tragic incident looked to have left the Libyan oil sector relatively unscathed, the destruction has again brought Libya’s oil industry into focus. While it has Africa’s biggest reserves, since the fall of Colonel Gaddafi 12 years ago, production has been disrupted several times by armed groups. Libya has been more stable since a truce was declared in mid-2020 in the civil war between the western and eastern halves of the nation, whose population lives mainly along the coastal region. Crude output held above 1m barrels a day for most of this year.