Libya’s Sharara field resumes production


Libya’s largest oilfield came back online this week after having been shut for almost three months.

El Sharara has been at the center of an internal power struggle resulting in periodic shutdowns, most recently since December. We wrote about Sharara last month, which you can read here.

Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. lifted force majeure March 4 and said production would begin the next day.

For a field as remote as Sharara — deep in the southwest corner of Libya — gaining reliable information on operations can be problematic.

How can you be certain Sharara is online or not? For a field that size — with a capacity of approximately 315,000 barrels per day — the answer has consequences for the broader oil market.

One way to improve transparency is by using satellite imagery, which is what we’ve been utilizing to monitor Sharara.

We collect and process satellite imagery taken over Sharara every night for near real-time alerts of detected flaring activity.

We are monitoring two blocks: NC-115 and NC-186. Click here for more information about Libya’s oilfields.

 We detected a flare in the early hours of March 6 at NC-115 for the first time since December 10. Approximately 24 hours later, we detected a flare at NC-186 for the first time since December 9.  

 This timeline corresponds with the shutdown of Sharara in early December.

 This chart below shows NC-115 flare detection. Note the drop-off from early December until March 6.


Source: Ursa

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