On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Libyan Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), Mohamed Shatwan, announced that the Sarir oilfield has restarted production after eastern forces lifted an eight-month blockade on energy facilities.
The company’s head did not put any figures on initial output levels at Sarir, which was producing more than 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) last year.
The Sarir Field was discovered in southern Cyrenaica in 1961 and is considered the largest oil field in Libya, with estimated oil reserves of 12 billion barrels.
Sarir is operated by the AGOCO, a subsidiary of the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC).
The Sarir field is located on the western edge of the Calanshio Sand Sea, itself located at the southeast margin of the Sirte Basin. It is part of a three-field complex, is 56 km long and 40 km wide covering 378 km². To its north is Sarir L, covering 39 km2. Situated between the two is the much smaller Sarir North pool. The estimated ultimate oil recovery from Sarir L is 1.2 Gbbl (190,000,000 m3).
The NOC lifted force majeure on output and exports from some facilities this month while keeping restrictions on those where it claims fighters are dispatched.
The blockade by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has cost about $10 billion in lost revenue, NOC and the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya have said.
On 18 September, the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, announced it had reached an agreement to resume oil production with the GNA. This deal was brokered by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, who represents the city of Misrata.
Exports have restarted and some fields have begun pumping again, though NOC has said it will take a long time to restore output to pre-blockade levels because of damage to fields.
Sirte Oil Co output has reached 60,000 bpd, it said in a statement posted online on Tuesday.
Libya descended into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi. The instability has led the country to become a major transit point for illegal migrants to Europe.