January 14, 2017 / 8:17 AM / 2 years ago

Libya's oil production up to 750,000 bpd - deputy PM

Pipelines are seen at the industrial zone at the oil port of Ras Lanuf, Libya January 11, 2017. Picture taken January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya’s oil production is up to 750,000 barrels per day (bpd), the deputy leader of the U.N.-backed government said on Friday, a rise of about 50,000 bpd from last week.

A two-year blockade on pipelines in western Libya was lifted last month following lengthy negotiations.

“Through restraint and bringing views together we were able to reach oil production of 750,000 barrels today,” Ahmed Maiteeg, a deputy prime minister of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord, told reporters at a news conference in Tripoli.

Before the pipeline from Sharara field reopened in December, Libya’s oil production was about 600,000 bpd, up from less than 300,000 bpd earlier last year.

A tanker was loading the first shipment of Sharara crude from Zawiya terminal for more than two years on Friday, with two other tankers expected to load at the western port later this month.

Output remains well below the more than 1.6 million bpd that Libya used to produce before the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. The National Oil Corporation (NOC) aims to raise production to 900,000 bpd by March, though any gains are vulnerable to Libya’s political turmoil.

Libya is one of two members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that are exempted from a recent pledge to cut production.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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