Libya's NOC lifts force majeure on Ras Lanuf and Es Sider

FILE PHOTO: A view of the industrial zone is seen at Libya's oil port of Ras Lanuf, west of Benghazi, March 11, 2014. / REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori/File Photo

TUNIS (Reuters) - Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) has lifted force majeure on exports from the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, it said on Friday, adding that output would reach 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) within two weeks and 1 million bpd in four weeks.

Al Waha Oil Co, the NOC company that runs Es Sider, said the port would start operating again on Saturday with the first tanker expected within 48 hours.

A blockade by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) halted most Libyan crude output and exports from January until it was lifted in September, but not all fields and ports have resumed operations.

An NOC statement said that foreign forces had left the ports, allowing it to recommence operations.

The United Nations’ acting Libya envoy, Stephanie Williams, said earlier on Friday that she expected operations at the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the largest still offline, to resume soon.

Libyan oil output has recovered to about 500,000 bpd since the end of the blockade, far from the 1.6 million bpd it was producing before the country’s civil war.

Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by David Goodman