A massive explosion on Saturday ripped through a key Libyan pipeline carrying crude oil from the country’s largest oilfield Sarir to the east, halting oil supply.
Saturday’s blast hit the line 413 km southwest of Marsa al-Hariga, Libya’s easternmost export terminal in the Sirte Basin.
It was triggered by an IED fixed under the pipe, a source at Sarir field told Libya Channel. Firefighters are still working to extinguish the blaze that engulfed the area shortly after the explosion. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Both the field and the port are operated by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company, a fully-owned subsidiary of Libya’s National Oil Corporation.
Together with neighboring field Messla, Sarir used to produce up to 320,000 barrels a day, according to the NOC.
But since the 2011 revolution production has plummeted to as little as 200,000 barrels a day.
Both fields and the Hariga terminal feed the eastern refineries of Sarir and Tobruk, with a small quantity of oil going to Ras Lanuf terminal in the Gulf of Sirte.
Ras Lanuf has been closed since last December due to heavy fighting between government forces and troops loyal to a rival administration anchored in Tripoli.
As a result of the pipeline explosion, the refineries have shut and Hariga will rely only on oil stored at the facility for exports.