El Sharara, Libya’s largest oil field, resumed production late on Thursday after gunmen from the mountain town of Zintan, closing an oil pipeline in the neighbouring town of Rayayna, agreed to end their protest.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) said it had restored over 200,000 barrels per day of oil production with immediate effect.
The NOC said oil production was resumed after unconditional agreement reached by Zintan elders and Petroleum Facilities Guard with the protesters.
“Resumption of El Sharara production will also mean resumption of production of Al-Feel oil field, which produces 80.000 bpd,” the NOC added.
Both El Sharara and Al-Feel are connected to the same pipeline in Rayayna, which is frequently closed by the Zintani gunmen.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said the agreement with the protesters is expected to be permanent and the NOC agreed to lift force majeure on the condition that no money will be paid to the protesters now or in the future.
“If the Presidency Council and Central Bank of Libya do not succumb to the extortion of the protesters, the problem of oil fields and ports closure will end forever,” Sanallah remarked.
Last week Sanallah declared that Libya’s oil output had declined from 700.000 to 490.000 bpd due to the closure of El Sharara oil field.
El Sharara is located Murzuq desert, southwest Libya. It’s operated by Akakus Oil Operations (Repsol). The oil field was re-operated in December 2016 after two years of closure. It was closed again late last March by Zintani protesters and reopened again early in April.