A Libyan crude oil pipeline owned by the Waha Oil Company, which feeds the port at Sidra. Libya’s largest oil terminal, was set on fire on Saturday.
The attack lead to the loss of between 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) and 100,000 bpd, according to the state-owned National Oil Company (NOC).
According to Reuters, Libyan officials suspect the attack was conducted by Islamic State group (IS) fighters, who frequently roam the area.
“Investigations into the incident are ongoing. There are no reported casualties at the site. The NOC executive board is closely monitoring developments and liaising with appropriate authorities to put out the fire and resume production as soon as possible,” the NOC said on its website.
In September 2016, leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar—who is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates—seized Libya’s oil crescent ports (Ras Lanuf, Sidra, Zueitina, and Brega), which in turn led to the NOC’s immediate resumption of exports of stored crude oil.
However, in March 2017, the Benghazi Defence Brigades recaptured the two oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Sidra, just to lose them again to the LNA forces two weeks after it began a counter-offensive.
Since the LNA gained control over the oil ports, according to the OPEC, Libya has reached a production level of 600,000 bpd. This is still less than half of its pre-2011 production levels of 1.6m bpd. However, since Libya is free from OPEC restrictions, it is targeting an output of 900,000 bpd by the start of 2017.
Egypt and Libya have long cooperated in the oil sector. In 2013, in cooperation with OiLibya, development works at the Tube depot in the city of Badr began.