(Adds first tanker leaves port, second starts loading)
By Feras Bosalum
BENGHAZI, Libya Aug 21 A second tanker started
loading oil at Libya's Es Sider port, state-run National Oil
Corp (NOC) said on Thursday, as the country's biggest crude
export terminal swung back into action after being closed for a
The OPEC member's oil production has risen in the past few
weeks, while major ports in the east have restarted operations
following a deal in early July with a group of federalist
rebels, adding to a crude market that is already well supplied.
A first tanker finished loading oil at Es Sider and left on
Thursday, and a second had docked to load oil, NOC spokesman
Mohamed El Harari said.
Exports are resuming after technical problems and mistrust
between the government and the rebels, who were campaigning for
regional autonomy, delayed implementation of the port deal for
Meanwhile, oil production has risen to 612,000 barrels per
day (bpd), Harari said, citing improvements at western fields
such as El Sharara and El Feel.
This is well above lows of barely 100,000 bpd seen earlier
this year but still short of levels of about 1.4 million bpd a
Traders and shipping sources expect several more cargoes to
be shipped by companies with stakes in the Waha Oil Co, which
runs the Es Sider port and connected oilfields, such as Marathon
Oil Corp, Hess Corp and ConocoPhillips.
Austria's OMV AG is also expected to lift a cargo.
The North African country badly needs higher exports to
cover budget needs as oil is the only source of income.
The Es Sider port currently holds some 4.5 million barrels
in storage, but once the tanks are emptied, the connected
oilfields can restart production, officials have said.
(Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Michael Urquhart and Jane