Continued fighting over weekend may cause disruptions to oil production. Fighting near Zawiya port in western Libya forced the National Oil Corporation to announce it was considering closing the refinery and evacuating staff. A missile nearly hit the refinery on Friday. The NOC also said it was considering closing the El Sharara oilfield, which exports its crude oil through Zawiya port. Throughout the weekend, three bombs fell close to the oil storage tanks.
Zawiya is Libya’s largest functioning refinery, serving the Tripoli region and west and south of Libya.
Zawiya’s refinery itself has a capacity of 120,000 bpd, which the NOC plans to double in the coming years, and is critical for process the oil that comes from El Sharara, estimated at 300,000 bpd. Libya’s oil sector is struggling as is to engage outside investment due to the fighting, and having to shut it down again would be disastrous. El Sharara only resumed production in August.
Libyan oil production has been hit hard since fighting first began, with NOC Chairman Mustaffa Sanalla saying the country would need $60 billion in investment to develop and improve its refining sector.