Wintershall oil exports blocked in Libya

Wintershall, Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer, said a blockade on export terminals in Libya have stalled oil production for the company in the North African nation.

“Due to the protracted blockade of the export terminals at the coast, Wintershall has had to suspend its onshore production several weeks ago already,” the company said in an emailed statement to United Press International. “It is currently unclear when the blockade of the export terminals will be lifted and how quickly production in the Libyan desert can be resumed.”

Before civil war erupted in Libya in 2011, Wintershall was producing about 100,000 barrels of oil per day in the country. During the first three months of 2013, production reached 85,000 bpd, UPI reported.

Oil exports recently resumed at the Mellitah port in the western part of the country, Reuters reported, but other facilities remain shut down.

Wintershall was formerly the second-largest foreign oil firm in Libya before Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power in 2011. Italy’s ENI was the largest oil company operating in Libya, Reuters reported.

Austrian energy company OMV has also said it is affected by the blocked export terminal.

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