Libya Halts Oil Exports Due to Bad Weather


On Thursday, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced that it had halted exports from six ports due to bad weather conditions.

The temporary move had halted exports from the ports of Brega, Zueitina, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, Mellitah, and Sidra.

The National Meteorological Center warned of strong winds along the coast, extending from Al-Khums to the east of the country. These are expected to have a speed of between 25 and 30 knots, and waves exceeding 4 to 5 meters.

On Tuesday, the ‘Delta Maria’ oil tanker docked in eastern Libya’s Tobruk oil port, to begin loading one million barrels of oil to China.

Last month, the NOC announced that the country’s revenues of oil and gas exports reached more than $21.5 billion in 2021, the highest level in five years.

The state-run NOC said that the total net revenue for oil and gas exports last year amounted to $21.5 billion dollars, as well as €30 million euros in non-dollar sales.

It added that the record levels were achieved in November and December, raising a combined $4.3 billion in the two last months of 2021.

“The end of the year 2021 recorded a recovery, and oil prices achieved their largest annual gains since 2016, driven by the recovery of the global economy from the state of stagnation due to the coronavirus epidemic,” NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla said.

Since the 1970s, Libya, which sits on the largest known oil reserves in Africa, has been heavily dependent on revenues from its hydrocarbon exports.

However, in a decade of violence since the 2011 revolt that overthrew and killed long-time leader Muammer Gaddafi, armed groups have frequently blockaded or damaged oil installations. The shutdowns have forced the NOC to declare force majeure, a legal move allowing it to free itself from contractual obligations in light of factors beyond its control.

Oil production has recovered to 1.2 million barrels per day, a week after militias ended a three-week blockade of several fields, including the nation’s largest. Prior to the closures, Libya’s oil sector was experiencing a period of calm. Production rose above one million bpd in late 2020, and averaged around 1.2 million in 2021.