The latest twist in a spiral of violence also casts a shadow over the vital deal two weeks ago to end the eastern blockade by federalist protesters of the last two facilities they held.
Until April, the rebels were holding four out of five eastern ports, cutting off over half of
But an oil export return is proving slow and a full ramp up is already facing new obstacles with a fresh protest by oil guards at the port of Brega.
At least 15 people have been killed in the capital and the eastern city of Benghazi since Sunday. Fighting between rival militias has transformed Tripoli's airport into a battlefield, cutting the Libyan capital off from the outside world.
A senior Libyan oil official said technical teams at the two main eastern oil ports - Ras Lanuf and
"It probably won't start until August."The two ports together can export 500,000 barrels per day, accounting for over a third of
With the return of some eastern output and the restart of a major western oilfield, the
Oil traders had remained cautious about any quick return of full Libyan exports. "There were expectations of further problems and protests emerging, but the Libyans announcing the two main eastern ports will not reopen until next month cuts the return of Libyan supplies compared to market expectations,"
Brent crude oil prices have fallen from more than
Trading and shipping sources said no tankers have yet been booked to sail to Ras Lanuf or
The eastern port of Zueitina, which along with Hariga reopened through an earlier deal with the rebels in April, is not exporting as oilfields have yet to restart and storage tanks are empty. High official selling prices, which are set by the
Estimates for where
If the port deal holds, average shipments could vary between less than 500,000 barrels per day to as much as 1 million bpd depending on technical difficulties, according to industry estimates and Reuters calculations.
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