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Libya re-opens key oil terminal

Force majeure lifted at Libya's 70,000 bpd Zeutina port.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   April 29, 2014 at 7:15 AM   |   Comments

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TRIPOLI, Libya, April 29 (UPI) -- The Libyan National Oil Company announced it lifted an emergency declaration on oil operations at its Zueitina terminal in the east of the country.

The NOC said Monday it lifted force majeure -- a legal means to release it from its contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond its control -- at Zueitina because of "the improvement of the circumstances" in the country.

The Libyan government brokered a deal April 6 with eastern rebel leaders to re-open export terminals. An eight-month blockade from rebels seeking more autonomy for the region known as Cyrenaica cut Libya's oil export potential dramatically.

Zueitina has the capacity to ship 70,000 barrels of oil per day and was one of the four export terminals set to re-open under the terms of the April 6 deal. The government said last week the opening of the port was delayed because of damage incurred during the shutdown.

Eastern export terminals handle about half of Libya's oil export capacity. Before civil war erupted in 2011, Libya was one of North Africa's largest crude oil exporters, though output has been marginal since last year.

There was no statement from the NOC on the status of Zueitina's infrastructure.

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