(Adds national production figure, background)
BENGHAZI, Libya Oct 6 A tanker on Thursday
loaded the first crude export cargo at Libya's Zueitina oil
terminal since late last year, a port official said.
Zueitina is one of three previously blockaded ports in
Libya's oil crescent region that reopened last month after
forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar took control of
The port official said the Ionic Anassa was loading 800,000
barrels of oil for export to China.
The reopening of Zueitina, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider has helped
boost Libya's oil production, which had been slashed to a
fraction of the 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) that the OPEC
member was producing before its 2011 uprising.
Zueitina had been shut since early November 2015, and Ras
Lanuf and Es Sider since December 2014. Exports have already
resumed at Ras Lanuf but are yet to restart at Es Sider, which
was badly damaged in fighting.
A Libyan oil official said national production stood between
505,000 bpd and 510,000 bpd on Thursday, just up on levels
recorded at the start of the week. Before the ports changed
hands on Sept. 11-12, Libya's output had been hovering between
200,000 and 300,000 bpd.
Haftar's forces have pledged to leave the ports in control
of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli.
The NOC has said it hopes to raise production to as much as
900,000 bpd by the end of the year, but that reaching this
target depends on funding for operating costs and the reopening
of blockaded pipelines in western Libya.
(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfallli in Benghazi and Ahmad Ghaddar
in London; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by David Goodman)