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Libya Oil Issues Remain, but Investors Remain Interested

Oil production at a Libyan field is down to the point it can only satisfy local demand.

United Press International, July 18, 2018, By Daniel J. Graeber

July 18 (UPI) -- The kidnapping of employees at an oil field in Libya forced the suspension of operations at a key port, though investors remain confident enough to stay active.

The U.N.-backed National Oil Corp. on Tuesday suspended the loading of crude oil at the Zawiya port in western Libya after unknown assailants kidnapped employees at the Sharara oil field. Of the four taken initially, two were released.

The NOC said production was limited at the field to 125,000 barrels of oil per day, enough for refinery requirements, but not enough to export from Zawiya.

"This incident required us to shutdown and evacuate a number of stations," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement. "We have to prioritize local demand for fuel. For the time being all Sharara production will go to the refinery."

Libyan instability re-emerged as a market concern in June when two of the storage tanks at the Ras Lanuf port suffered catastrophic damage during militant attacks. The NOC said reconstruction efforts could take several years, especially considering the tense security situation in the country.

The declaration on Tuesday caused crude oil prices to jump in afternoon trading by about 1 percent, before settling back down by the end of the day. Libyan issues have been one of the contributing factors to the recent volatility in the price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark...

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