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BENGHAZI, Libya Sept 20 (Reuters) - Libya’s Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) said on Tuesday its output had risen to 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) from between 145,000-160,000 bpd after production resumed at the Nafoura and Hamada fields.
“We will maintain production at this level and we are capable of increasing it, though we are suffering from a financial crisis at the moment,” AGOCO spokesman Omran al-Zwai told Reuters.
AGOCO is a subsidiary of the country’s National Oil Corporation that operates the Hariga terminal in eastern Libya as well as several fields including Sarir, Libya’s largest.
Zwai said 80,000 barrels of crude had so far been pumped from the Nafoura field to Zueitina port, one of three terminals seized earlier this month by forces loyal to eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) has said it will let the National Oil Corporation work to revive production through the ports of Zueitina, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, which had been blockaded for several years by a rival armed faction.
Armed conflict, disputes and damage to infrastructure have reduced Libya’s oil output to under 300,000 bpd, far less than the 1.6 bpd it was producing before a 2011 uprising.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla has said he hoped developments at the eastern ports could signal a breakthrough in efforts to boost production and a “new phase of cooperation” between Libya’s factions.
On Tuesday, Sanalla visited Hariga alongside AGOCO’s chairman as part of efforts to rapidly revive exports.
But the North African country remains deeply divided politically and Sanalla’s goal of raising production to more than 900,000 bpd by the end of the year faces multiple security and technical challenges.
On Sunday, LNA-aligned forces had to call on air strikes to repel a counter attack against Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.
The NOC said damage from the clashes was limited, and a tanker that had withdrawn to a safe distance at Ras Lanuf resumed loading on Tuesday, a port official said. (Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Aidan Lewis, editing by Patrick Markey and Jane Merriman)
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