(Adds details, background)
BENGHAZI, Libya Sept 20 Libya's Arabian Gulf Oil
Company (AGOCO) said on Tuesday its output had risen to 210,000
barrels per day (bpd) from between 145,000-160,000 bpd after
production resumed at the Nafoura and Hamada fields.
"We will maintain production at this level and we are
capable of increasing it, though we are suffering from a
financial crisis at the moment," AGOCO spokesman Omran al-Zwai
AGOCO is a subsidiary of the country's National Oil
Corporation that operates the Hariga terminal in eastern Libya
as well as several fields including Sarir, Libya's largest.
Zwai said 80,000 barrels of crude had so far been pumped
from the Nafoura field to Zueitina port, one of three terminals
seized earlier this month by forces loyal to eastern Libyan
commander Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) has said it will let the
National Oil Corporation work to revive production through the
ports of Zueitina, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, which had been
blockaded for several years by a rival armed faction.
Armed conflict, disputes and damage to infrastructure have
reduced Libya's oil output to under 300,000 bpd, far less than
the 1.6 bpd it was producing before a 2011 uprising.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla has said he hoped developments
at the eastern ports could signal a breakthrough in efforts to
boost production and a "new phase of cooperation" between
On Tuesday, Sanalla visited Hariga alongside AGOCO's
chairman as part of efforts to rapidly revive exports.
But the North African country remains deeply divided
politically and Sanalla's goal of raising production to more
than 900,000 bpd by the end of the year faces multiple security
and technical challenges.
On Sunday, LNA-aligned forces had to call on air strikes to
repel a counter attack against Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.
The NOC said damage from the clashes was limited, and a
tanker that had withdrawn to a safe distance at Ras Lanuf
resumed loading on Tuesday, a port official said.
(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Aidan Lewis,
editing by Patrick Markey and Jane Merriman)