Libya's Largest Oil Field Temporary Shut-In After Armed Protest

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Libya's largest oil field was shut late Sunday before pumping restarted Monday following an armed protest, a Libyan official said Monday, underscoring the persistent instability of the country's oil production.

Libya's average production has more than tripled in a year to 1 million barrels a day which could offset the impact of output cuts from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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A Libyan oil official said the Sharara field, Libya's largest oil field with production of 270,000 barrels a day, had been shut late Sunday after the control room overseeing the field in the Zawiya oil terminal was targeted by an armed protest. He said the gunmen were seeking the release of Libyan pilgrims held in Saudi Arabia.

But the official said pumping had restarted Monday. Another Libyan official said output was "normal."

Mostafa Sanallah, chairman of Libya's National Oil Co., and spokesperson for Spain's Repsol SA, which is the field's main foreign partner, didn't return a request for comment.

Write to Benoit Faucon at benoit.faucon@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 07, 2017 06:48 ET (10:48 GMT)