Update: The National Oil Corporation has now confirmed that the pipeline was exploded, and said investigations are underway to unveil the details of the explosion
Oil production to decline after pipeline catches fire
A fire broke out Tuesday in the oil pipeline of al-Zuqut -Al-Sidra, a subsidiary of Al-Waha Oil Company, which connects the oilfields in Marada basin with Sidra oil port, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) reported.
Fire brigades rushed to the scene and responded directly to the raging blaze. Al-Waha Oil Company said that it had switched the production of the affected fields to another pipeline.
However, the NOC said the incident will have an impact on the daily production of crude oil, expecting a decline between 70 and 100 thousand barrels per day.
The cause of the fire is not yet known. The NOC stated that the investigations are still ongoing and that its Board of Directors will continue to monitor the developments closely.
On the other hand, local news sites quoted the spokesman of the 302 Battalion, responsible for securing Al-Sidra oil region, Imran Al-Hamali, as saying that "the oil pipeline was detonated by a terrorist group."
The National Oil Corporation has recently redoubled its efforts to return to the pre-crisis rates of 1.6 million barrels per day, after arm clashes compromised the productivity of oilfields in addition to the closure of other fields due to the deteriorating security situation.
The ports of the oil crescent region have been closed for nearly 3 years by gunmen led by Ibrahim Jadran, the commander of what was known as the Petroleum Facilities Guard, causing losses to the Libyan state estimated at 100 billion dollars.