(Bloomberg) -- Two of Libya’s biggest oil ports stopped loading crude after armed forces clashed nearby, as Saudi Arabia and other producers consider boosting output when OPEC meets next week.
Es Sider, Libya’s biggest oil port, and the terminal of Ras Lanuf halted loadings because workers were evacuated, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media.
Fighting between rival groups erupted about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Es Sider, said Omran al-Hamali, a spokesman for Brigade 302, which is partly responsible for security at the oil facilities.
The squeeze on Libya’s exports adds to the issues that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will face when it meets next week in Vienna. Russia and OPEC’s largest producer Saudi Arabia have proposed boosting supplies to stop prices from going any higher and hurting oil demand. Fellow OPEC members Iraq, Iran and Venezuela oppose the plan.
Libya has pumped 990,000 barrels a day for the past three months, up from only 550,000 barrels a day in April 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The North African nation is exempt from OPEC’s production cuts due to civil strife and a collapse in central authority triggered by a 2011 war.
(Updates with Libya’s production in fifth paragraph.)
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