Libya’s Azzawiya Oil Refining Company has suspended its operations for lack of feedstock amid the continued blockade of oil ports that has led to the shutdown of several fields, Reuters reported, adding that the refiner is completely out of stockpiled crude.
Libya has lost more than a million barrels daily in production, with its average daily slumping from over 1.2 million bpd in early January to less than 200,000 bpd as of the end of last week, according to the National Oil Corporation as cited by local media.
The company said it had also lost $1 billion from the blockade so far and urged the Libyan National Army and the tribal groups that seized the ports to lift the blockade.
“National Oil Corporation (NOC) renews its call for all blockades to be lifted to allow the corporation to resume production immediately, for the sake of Libya and its people,” the statement read as quoted by the Libyan Express.
In late January, NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla told Bloomberg Libya could lose all of its oil production if the blockade was not lifted soon and the latest production figures suggest that output may indeed be heading for zero.
The blockade was an extension of the ongoing fight for control of the country and its oil revenues between the Libyan National Army, affiliated with the eastern government, and the Government of National Accord, which has been recognised by the UN. All oil revenues go into accounts controlled by the GNA and NOC, and the LNA is seeking to change that through the blockade.
The economic situation in the North African country was the key topic of discussion at the latest round of UN talks on Libya. Bloomberg reported on the talks, noting that if they ended with a deal between the warring parties and production begins to ramp up, this would compromise OPEC’s efforts to curb global supply amid the coronavirus scare.