Libya's Zawiya oil refinery operating at half capacity due to Sharara outage: source

A view shows pipelines and crude oil storage tanks at an oil refinery in Zawia, 55km west of Tripoli December 18, 2013. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

LONDON (Reuters) - Libya’s 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) Zawiya oil refinery, the largest operating plant in the country, was working at only half its capacity due to the shutdown at the Sharara oilfield, a source at the refinery told Reuters on Monday.

Zawiya, located to the west of the capital Tripoli, is fed crude from Sharara but the oilfield is shut due to a pipeline blockade.

The refinery underwent a maintenance shutdown on one of its two 60,000 barrels per day crude distillation towers that lasted from Aug. 10 to Aug. 25, the source said, declining to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Sharara, which at 280,000 bpd is the OPEC member’s largest, has been shut down for around a week due to militia blocking a pipeline linking it to the Zawiya oil terminal.

A force majeure is in place on Sharara crude oil exports from the port.

Libya’s 90,000 bpd El Feel field was also shut down over the weekend due to a pipeline blockade and the National Oil Corp (NOC) has declared force majeure on Mellitah grade exports from the Mellitah oil terminal.

The shutdown of Sharara has also led NOC subsidiary Agoco to shut down the 10,000 bpd Hamada oilfield, which shares export infrastructure with Sharara, a Libyan oil source told Reuters.

Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar, editing by Louise Heavens