x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Libya turns to imports amid gas shortage

Libya has started importing extra fuel to make up for lost gas production at fields in the east, where production has been forced to a near standstill by protests.

Libya is now importing three times its usual purchases of diesel and fuel oil. Bob Strong / Reuters
Libya is now importing three times its usual purchases of diesel and fuel oil. Bob Strong / Reuters

Libya has started importing extra fuel to make up for lost gas production at fields in the east, where production has been forced to a near standstill by protests.

The gas shortage is the latest woe to befall Libya's core industry, with oil production plummeting to a tenth of its capacity.

Libya is now importing three times its usual purchases of diesel and fuel oil and has begun withholding some of its production at the Wafa gasfield from its foreign joint venture partner, Eni, a National Oil Corporation official told Reuters.

Brent futures rose 34 cents to US$114.35 in London yesterday, as bullish sentiment arising from Libya's production drop counteracted expectations that the United States would delay or forgo a military strike in Syria.

Earlier this week a Libyan legislator warned that the government might have to stop paying public-sector employees if protests continue to stifle production, which has fallen to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a post-war high of 1.6 million bpd.

Libya needs to pump 400,000 bpd to afford public salaries.

Opec production is projected to fall 490,000 bpd to 29.9 million bpd in August on the back of the Libyan shutdowns, estimates JBC Energy, a consultancy.

 

ayee@thenational.ae

* with agencies