Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Operations at the Sharara oil field in Libya, the country's largest, are back to normal following short-term "irregularities," an Austrian energy company said.
Mustafa Sanalla, the head of Libya's National Oil Corp., blamed "gangsters" for shutting down some of the pipelines tied to the Sharara oil field in late August. That followed a worker protest at Sharara earlier in the month and the NOC said more than 360,000 barrels per day of Libyan crude oil production had been shut in at a cost of $160 million.
A report from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts, sent to UPI earlier this week, said Libyan crude oil production fell from July levels of 990,000 barrels per day to 830,000 barrels per day in August because of security issues at three of its key oil fields, including Sharara.
Platts said it heard from sources Wednesday that Sharara was back in service and Austrian energy company OMV, which has a role in field operations, confirmed Friday to UPI that production was back online.
"After some short-term irregularities production is back to normal," a spokesman for the company said.
Because of the oil revenue needed to address security concerns, Libya and Nigeria are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exempt from an agreement to curb production in an effort to draw on the surplus for the five-year average of global crude oil inventories.
U.N. special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame told the Security Council last week that the security situation in parts of the country like Tripoli had improved and oil production was resilient enough for government authorities to work on a new budget with the Central Bank of Libya.
Libyan and Nigerian officials were invited to a late September meeting of a committee monitoring the OPEC-led agreement. According to Platts, the two countries combined are producing 480,000 barrels per day more than in October 2016, the month OPEC uses as a peg for production quotas.