UPDATE 2-Unruly Libyans cut oil exports by more than half

Thu Aug 1, 2013 11:15am EDT

Related Topics

* Industry sources say exports just over 400,000 bpd

* Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals still down

* Marsa al Brega and Marsa al Hariga ports open-sources

* Zueitina port and El Feel fields still closed (Recasts, adds details)

By Julia Payne

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Libya's oil exports are running at less than half normal rates - one of the worst outages in the past year - after armed security guards shut down export terminals.

Libya has been battling to sustain output of about 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) following a wave of protests and strikes that have crippled its energy sector.

Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said on Wednesday flows had fallen to around 330,000 bpd, but it was not clear whether he was referring to production or exports.

Shipments from the major terminals of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf have been halted by protests by armed guards since the weekend, the minister said.

Strikes have also hit the country's largest 220,000 bpd Ras Lanuf refinery but output details remained sketchy.

Industry sources said exports on Thursday were still running low, with shipments at about 425,000 bpd, versus maximum capacity of just over 1.2 million bpd. The ports of Marsa al Hariga and Marsa al Brega remained open.

Exports from the El Sharara oilfield were highest at about 180,000 bpd, while shipments of Sarir were about 100,000 bpd, Brega roughly 60,000 bpd, Bouri about 45,000 bpd and al-Jurf some 40,000 bpd, they said.

The El Sharara field has a maximum capacity of 350,000-360,000 bpd and sends some 120,000 bpd to the Zawia refinery.

Data from several shipping sources showed that around three crude oil tankers were waiting at Es Sider and two were waiting outside Ras Lanuf.

"No change to Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, but Hariga, Brega and offshore terminals are normal. Hariga and Brega are open as far as I understand," one oil trader said.

They added that the Zueitina port was still down from a separate protest and the El Feel field, which produces the Mellitah grade, was still down. (Additional reporting by Peg Mackey; Editing by William Hardy)

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