Benghazi — Libya’s Sarir oilfield has restarted production, the head of the company that operates it said on Tuesday, after eastern forces lifted an eight-month blockade on energy facilities.
However, AGOCO chairman Mohamed Shatwan did not put any figures on initial output levels at Sarir, which was producing more than 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) last year.
National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on output and exports from some facilities this month while keeping restrictions on those where it said fighters remained.
The blockade by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has cost about $10 billion in lost revenue, NOC and the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya have said.
The LNA, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, is fighting in a conflict against Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord, which is backed by Turkey.
LNA commander Khalifa Haftar this month announced a lifting of the blockade for a month but did not commit to pulling forces from energy facilities, which NOC says is needed to ensure their safety.
Exports have restarted and some fields have begun pumping again, though NOC has said it will take a long time to restore output to pre-blockade levels because of damage to fields.
Sirte Oil Co output has reached 60,000 bpd, it said in a statement posted online on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfali in Benghazi Writing by Angus McDowall Editing by David Goodman)