Libyan rebels surrendered control of two oil ports to the government, potentially enabling the OPEC member to triple crude exports this month with an increase of at least 180,000 barrels a day. Brent futures dropped.
The self-declared Executive Office for Barqa handed over the oil terminals of Zueitina and Hariga overnight, said Ali Al-Hasy, a spokesman of the group that seeks self rule for the region that is also known as Cyrenaica. An agreement yesterday with the government also provides for the rebels to relinquish the other two ports they control, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, in two to four weeks, he said. The government confirmed the agreement in a statement on its website.
With Africa’s largest oil reserves, Libya’s oil production slumped by more than 1 million barrels a day in the past year as protests halted oil fields and ports. Brent crude futures, which fell 1.3 percent last week, could drop further if exports resume, said Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“National Oil Corp. is free to start exports any time,” Al-Hasy said, referring to the state oil company that oversees crude production and shipments in the North African nation. “The terminals are in very good shape,”
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