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Libya's Major Western Oilfields Remain Closed

Source: Reuters 5/21/2014, Location: Africa

Libya's major western oilfields remain closed 10 days after the government said protesters blocking pipeline flows had agreed to leave, while total oil output edged higher, a spokesman for National Oil Corp said.

Only the small 30,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Wafa field was producing normally in the west, NOC spokesman Mohammed El Harari said.

Oil output was around 230,000 bpd, he said, slightly higher than earlier this week at 210,000 bpd but well below the country's 1.6 million bpd capacity.

The figures come amid a surge in violence in the OPEC member country. Explosions and heavy fighting with anti-aircraft guns could be heard near two military camps in Tripoli early on Wednesday, witnesses said, two days after gunmen had stormed parliament.

There was no change in the east, where a federalist group has been blocking the country's two largest ports and refinery at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf since the end of July.

Production from oilfields that normally feed the Zueitina port has not yet resumed, Harari added. The terminal exports two grades, called Zueitina and Bu Attifel. Refiners have been lifting crude out of storage since the start of May.

The eastern oil ports of Zueitina and Hariga reopened in April after the federalist group blockading them agreed to a preliminary deal with the government.

The group led by former civil war fighter Ibrahim al-Jathran wants more federal rights for the eastern region, historically known as Cyrenaica, and a redistribution of the country's oil revenues.

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