Production to re-start from two oil fields in western Libya

Protesters who have been blocking pipelines from Sharara and El Feel oil fields have agreed to reopen them. Oil industry and security officials claim that production could start again within days.

Before the uprising against Gadaffi in 2011, Libya was producing up to 1.6 million barrels per day. While production has doubled since September when eastern oil crescent ports began to export again, it is still just around 600,000 barrels a day. Opening the new fields could boost production by another 365,000 barrels a day.
A faction of the Libyan Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) has blockaded one pipeline since November of 2014 and another from April of 2015. A tweet claims an even longer blockade: "The blockade of El Feel was on 31-May-2013, Elshara on 25-June-2013 Both by Zintanis. Jadran blocked terminals after July-2013". Jadhran blocked ports in the east. The group said it had agreed to unblock both: "The National Oil Corporation should start its work as soon as possible and we, as the Petroleum Facilities Guard, pledge to protect and defend the wealth of the Libyan state." The western section of the PFG is not headed by Ibrahim Jodhran who was head of the eastern PFG until the oil crescent ports were seized from him by troops loyal to eastern commander Field Marshal Khalfa Haftar. Indeed, the western faction are allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Haftar. The area is secured by the Zintan brigades. Idris Madi, who heads the LNA commander center at Zintan said the blockade should be ended by Thursday.
As mentioned, the PFG faction is aligned with the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), a force based in eastern Libya. Its statement was confirmed by the office of Idris Madi, head of the LNA's command center in its western outpost of Zintan. Madi's office said the blockade would end by Thursday. The National Oil Company(NOC) based in Tripoli also confirmed that a deal had been made. However, it noted that similar deals in the past had fallen through. No details were released of the agreement.
A refinery at Zawiya and a complex at Mellitah were readying for a restart. They receive oil from the two fields. A spokesperson for the NOC said that both places had been preparing to restart production and that work to resume delivery of oil was also taking place in the fields. Production would only gradually increase. However, the NOC said that it hoped to reach a goal of 900,000 barrels a day soon and 1.1 million barrels next year. However the NOC needs new funds for its operating budget as well as ending of blockades before it could reach its goal.
The Libya Observer reports that the Rayayna Patrols Brigade of the PFG had reopened the Rayayna oil pipeline on Wednesday after they were instructed to do so by the western operations room of Khalifa Haftar's LNA. The pipeline feeds oil from the Al-Sharara and Al-Feel fields into the two main western oil terminals. The Observer speaks of the brigades as Zintani armed groups. Mustafa Sanallah had filed a lawsuit last October against the militia. He claimed that closure had lost Libya over 27 billion dollars in revenue. Khalid Shakshak said last November that reopening of the Rayayna pipeline to resume pumping oil through it would solve 70 percent of Libya's economic crisis.
However, there is as yet no sign of any solution to the political crisis with the eastern government of the House of Representatives (HoR) and its armed forces commander Khalifa Haftar having control of most of Libya's oil resources. There is no information as to how oil revenue is being divided. However, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) complains that it is not receiving sufficient funds from the Central Bank in a timely fashion to pay for essential services.
UPDATE: There is already a problem with the El Feel field, with guards their rejecting the agreement apparently.


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