(Reuters) BENGHAZI, Libya: Libya’s Es Sider oil port was shut on Thursday due to armed clashes nearby and at least one storage tank in the neighboring Ras Lanuf terminal was set alight, an engineer in the area said.
Loadings were suspended at Ras Lanuf, according to a local shipping agent.
The clashes between forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and rival armed groups were taking place south of Ras Lanuf, where the LNA was targeting its rivals with air strikes, local sources said.
The LNA took control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf along with other oil ports in Libya’s oil crescent in 2016, allowing them to reopen after a long blockade.
Storage tanks at both terminals had been badly damaged in previous fighting and were yet to be repaired, though there had been regular loadings from Es Sider.
Libya’s oil production recovered last year to just over 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and has been mostly stable, though it remains vulnerable to shutdowns and blockades at oil facilities.
National output is still well under the more than 1.6 million bpd Libya was producing before a 2011 uprising led to political fragmentation and armed conflict.