BENGHAZI/TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Libya has resumed oil exports from the eastern port of Zueitina after an almost year-long suspension and is also testing a pipeline to restart exports from Hariga port, officials said on Sunday.
The resumption will bring in badly needed revenues for the oil producer struggling with a public finance crisis due to a violent conflict between two governments and parliaments.
Zueitina is under the control of troops loyal to the internationally recognized Libyan government. The proceeds from the oil exports will go to the central bank which has sought to stay out of the conflict.
Oil exports have fallen to less than 200,000 barrels a day with the closure of the eastern Hariga port due to a pipeline blast a week ago, a fraction of the up to 1.3 million barrels it exported daily prior to the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Most Libyan oilfields have stopped working due to the power struggle.
The first tanker in almost a year loaded crude from the eastern port of Zueitina on Sunday, an oil official said.
The oilfield named 103 and Harouge Oil Co feeding into the port have resumed work. A Greek-registered tanker will leave for Italy later on Sunday after loading 750,000 barrels of oil, the official said.
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