Last updated: 11 April, 2014

OPEC chief: Libya oil exports to recover by mid-June

Libya’s oil exports are likely to quadruple from current levels and hit 1 million barrels per day by mid-June after rebels ended a blockade of two terminals, OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said Friday.

“I think the first one million barrels will come in two months’ time, but after a million it will take some time. Because the main challenge now is the security,” El-Badri said at an international oil conference in Paris.

The Libyan army announced Wednesday it had taken control of Al-Hariga and Zueitina ports under a deal to end a crippling nine-month blockade by rebels seeking autonomy in the country’s east.

And on Thursday, Libya’s National Oil Co (NOC) lifted a force majeure on Al-Hariga, opening the way for renewed exports from the facility with a capacity of exporting 100,000 barrels per day.

The blockade of four ports had reduced Libyan exports from 1.5 million barrels per day to around 250,000 barrels per day, and has been a key factor in keeping the price of Brent oil above $100 per barrel.

Renewed oil exports will restore a much-needed revenue stream for the weak central government following the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi.

Tripoli says the blockade has cost the country more than $14 billion (10.1 billion euros) in lost revenues.