Armed clashes costing Libya 240K barrels of oil per day

June 14 (UPI) — Libyan oil production is down by about a quarter-million barrels per day because of clashes at two export terminals, the national oil company said Thursday.

“The National Oil Corp. has evacuated staff from both Sidra and Ras Lanuf terminals for their safety due to armed clashes in the area,” the company stated. “The loss in oil production is around 240,000 barrels per day and a planned tanker entry today to Sidra has been postponed.”

Libyan oil production has been hampered by conflicts stemming from civil war that erupted in the wake of the Arab Spring movements earlier in the decade. Intense fighting near export terminals in early 2015 left oil storage depots ablaze and shut in exports for about a month.

After the outbreak of civil war, Libyan oil production ground to a halt, prompting the International Energy Agency to call on member states to release oil from their strategic reserves to offset the loss.

Libya fractured along competing political lines in the wake of civil war. Last week, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya said the political and security situation is not sustainable and all parties should work to ensure unity.

Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and on the sidelines of a collective agreement to curb production to stabilize a market recovering from the collapse in oil prices in early 2016.

The loss of barrels from Thursday’s evacuation represents more than a quarter of total Libyan output.

OPEC economists said in their latest monthly market report that Libyan crude oil production last year improved 109.5 percent compared to 2016. Secondary sources reporting to OPEC said Libya produced an average of 955,000 barrels per day, above the 817,000 barrel-per-day average last year, but lower than the previous month by about 24,000 barrels per day.