Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A Libyan company said it expects to be out at least 70,000 barrels of oil per day because of an explosion at a pipeline feeding the nation's largest oil depot.
The National Oil Corp. said it was able to confirm an explosion on a pipeline feeding the port of Es-Sider. The pipeline is operated by Libya's Waha Oil Co., and the NOC said the explosion occurred about 80 miles south of the port.
The NOC said teams were on scene investigating and some of the oil was diverted to another line. The NOC said, however, it expects a production loss of between 70,000 and 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
"NOC continues to investigate the causes of the explosion and is closely monitoring developments," the company said in an undated statement.
Early and unverified reports of the explosion caused crude oil prices to spike more than 2 percent in late Tuesday trading. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was down more than 1 percent early Wednesday as traders shift focus back to the gradual restart of the Forties pipeline network in the North Sea.
Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and exempt from its multilateral effort to drain the surplus of oil on the global market with coordinated production declines. Secondary sources reporting to OPEC economists said November production was around 973,000 barrels per day, an improvement from the previous month of 6,000 barrels.
Libya is exempt so it can steer oil revenue toward the national security effort. Intense fighting in Ras Lanuf and nearby Zuetina in early 2015 left oil storage depots at Es Sider ablaze and shut in exports for about a month.