TRIPOLI, June 8 Libya is still able to supply
its 120,000-bpd Zawiya refinery without drawing on oil from two
offshore fields, an oil ministry official said on Sunday.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Corp
(NOC) said Libya might have to use oil from offshore fields Al
Jurf and Bouri to feed the refinery which supplies western Libya
with fuel products.
The offshore oil is one of the last export sources for a
government struggling with a wave of protests at oilfields and
ports that began last summer.
But a senior oil ministry official told Reuters Brega port
in the east was still producing enough to supply the refinery.
The Al Jurf and Bouri offshore fields, producing around
80,000 bpd, have been unaffected so far by 10 months of
nationwide oil protests.
Many petrol stations in the capital Tripoli are closed. Oil
officials blame the fuel shortage on bad weather delaying the
arrival of fresh imports.
The situation should improve within 24 hours after the
arrival of a tanker last night, an official in state firm Brega,
which supplies the local market, told local television stations.
As for the rest of the North African country, protesters are
still blocking either the export terminals or the oilfields
themselves in order to prevent any other exports.
A group of federalists, led by 2011 civil war veteran
Ibrahim al-Jathran, allowed two of the four eastern ports they
were blocking since end-July 2013 to reopen after an initial
government deal in April.
But oil guards blocked one of them again last week. They
have prevented two tankers from loading at Hariga over unpaid
salaries, though oil officials said these have now been
The other reopened port of Zueitina ran out of crude in May
after storage was emptied by eager buyers while production at
the connecting oilfields has not yet resumed.
Zawiya refinery depends on oil from the major western El
Sharara oilfield, which has been shut down since March. Crude
coming from the eastern Brega port was being used as an
(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing
by Stephen Powell)