Libyan oil export terminals closed

Aug. 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Libyan state-run National Oil Corp. said it was no longer able to meet its contractual obligations because of the closure of four export terminals.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its August monthly report all but one of the oil export terminals in Libya are closed "due to unrest." This makes the Mediterranean market tight because of the absence of "at least" 500,000 barrels of oil per day, the 12-member cartel said.

Libya has struggled to return to the 1.6 million bpd average reported before civil war in 2011. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday it was sent documents from Libya's state-run National Oil Corp. stating force majeure was declared on exports from the El Brega, Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina ports.

"The above mentioned sea port terminals are closed due to Oil Security Guards who are on strike at these locations since the end of July 2013, which resulted total shutdown for these facilities and cease of all exports," the document said.

Force majeure means NOC is freed of its contractual obligations because of circumstance beyond its control.

OPEC said in its August monthly market report outages in member states Iraq and Libya were in part to blame for oil prices hovering above the $100 per barrel mark for much of the second quarter of 2013.

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