Output at Libya's Sharara oilfield rises to around 150,000 bpd - sources

FILE PHOTO: A view shows Sharara oil field near Ubari, Libya, July 6, 2017 REUTERS/Aidan Lewis

LONDON (Reuters) - Production at Libya’s Sharara oilfield has risen to around 150,000 barrels per day, around half its capacity, two industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have highted rising Libyan production, as well as a weaker demand outlook because of a second wave of coronavirus infections, as major risks to any oil market recovery.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on the field on Oct. 11, following a ceasefire with eastern forces that partially lifted a blockade that had crippled oil production.

The field, with a capacity of around 300,000 bpd, started operations at a rate of around 40,000 bpd, which gradually rose to around 100,000 bpd at the end of last week, the sources said.

The field witnessed a brief restart in June, before unrest led to its closure again.

For OPEC member Libya, the Sharara field is important because it supplies the 120,000 bpd Zawiya oil refinery, as well as providing export revenue.

A shipping report showed the NOC plans to export three Sharara cargoes of 600,000 barrels each this month.

The first cargo is expected to load on the Aegean Nobility on Oct. 25-26 for trader SOCAR, the report said.

The NOC runs Sharara in a joint venture with Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Norway’s Equinor.

Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar and Julia Payne in London and Ayman al Warfalli in Benghazi; Editing by Jan Harvey and Barbara Lewis