(Adds detail, total production)
By Julia Payne and Feras Bosalum
LONDON/BENGHAZI Aug 28 Libya's Waha Oil Co. has
resumed a small volume of Es Sider crude oil production, a
senior Libyan oil official said on Thursday in the latest sign
that output is improving despite unrest in the country.
The oil grade will be exported through the Es Sider port,
the country's largest export terminal, which has reopened after
being closed for a year due to protests and maintenance.
Libya's National Oil Corp has loaded two tankers of Es Sider
this month after the resumption of exports from the neighbouring
Ras Lanuf terminal which has a capacity around 220,000 bpd.
The Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals were the largest of the
four ports that an eastern federalist group blocked for about a
year, calling for a greater share of oil revenue.
Waha Oil Co, which pre-blockade exported around 320,000
barrels per day (bpd), is a joint venture between the Libyan
National Oil Corporation and U.S. firms ConocoPhillips,
Marathon Oil Corp and Hess Corp.
During the four-port blockade, the company sent small
volumes of Es Sider crude to the port of Brega between November
and August to be blended with the Brega grade for export and for
the 120,000 bpd Zawiya refinery.
In the last three months, Es Sider output to Brega averaged
around 3,000 bpd before being switched off for the Es Sider
port, said Ibrahim al-Awami, general manager of inspections and
measurement at the oil ministry.
On Thursday, a spokesman for Libya's National Oil Corp said
total production had risen to 665,000 bpd, up from 650,000 bpd
earlier this week but did not have a precise number for current
Oil production in Libya has risen to more five times the
level two months ago, in a rare success for the economy at a
time when armed groups and two parliaments are fighting for
control of the North African country.
Libya warned the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday the
country could descend into full-scale civil war if heavily armed
warring factions are not disarmed.
(Writing by David Sheppard; Editing by Mark Potter and David