Oil exports from the Libyan port of Marsa al Brega have resumed after a force majeure was lifted as protesters ended their blockade of the terminal, the deputy oil minister said Monday.
"A few tankers have left the port after we lifted the force majeure on Aug. 22," Omar Shakmak told Dow Jones Newswires. "The port is now operating as normal and at full capacity," he said.
Brega, with a capacity of around 90,000 barrels a day, is one of the four ports affected by the force majeure, declared after protests caused the facilities to be shut at the end of July, as workers demanded the payment of wages, as well as higher salaries or more jobs. However, officials said the situation was more precarious, with armed guards trying to sell oil without government approval.
The strikes in eastern and central Libyan ports had effectively shut down shipments from terminals there, which account for more than half of Libya's $60 billion of oil exports annually.
Es Sider, the largest of Libya's oil terminals with a 350,000 barrel-a-day capacity, as well as Ras Lanuf and Zueitina in eastern Libya remain closed.
Storage facilities in the country, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, have filled with crude, crimping any new production. According to data supplied by the oil ministry, Libya's output fell in the first half of August to about 500,000 barrels a day -- about one-third of the highs reached last summer and the lowest since just after Libya's civil war ended in late 2011.
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