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Shell loads first cargo of oil from Libya in five years

Libya has Africa's largest crude oil reserves. [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 August, 2017

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Shell loaded 600,000 barrels of crude oil from the Libyan port of Zueitina on Saturday, industry sources said, its first cargo from the war-torn country in over five years.
Royal Dutch Shell loaded 600,000 barrels of crude oil from the Libyan port of Zueitina on Saturday, industry sources said, its first cargo from the war-torn country in over five years.

In June analysts reported a peak in oil output in Libya with around a million barrels a day (BPD) produced in the country, a four-year high.

A spokesman for Shell, the world's largest oil trader, declined to comment on the shipment but said Shell International Trading & Shipping "has a history marketing Libyan crudes," Bloomberg reported.

"We welcome new business opportunities with Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC)," the spokesman added.

The chairman of the NOC, Mustafa Sanalla, did not answer phone calls seeking comment.

Libya is exempt from cuts agreed to by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers.

The country is not planning to join the agreement to curb output until it reaches a target of 1.25 million BPD by December, Bloomberg reported.

Libya has Africa's largest crude reserves and pumped out around 1.78 million barrels a day in 2008 before the revolution which overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2011 production fell as low as 45,000 barrels a day, according to Bloomberg data.

This year Libya attracted Germany-based Wintershall AG and Russia's Rosneft PJSC as investors after signs of stability in the oil industry after years of civil war.

Libya has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 uprising, with rival authorities and militias battling for control of the oil-rich country.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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