Libya’s new Ubari gas-fired power station will initially run on up to 50,000 barrels per day of Sharara crude oil when it starts up in around two weeks, slashing exports from Libya’s biggest oilfield, a Libyan oil industry source said on Thursday.
The plant, if it starts on time, will initially consume 30,000 bpd of crude oil before ramping up to around 50,000 bpd, he said, declining to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Libya will consider running the plant on feedstock other than crude in the future, as the country faces a severe shortage of electricity especially during peak winter demand, the source said.
Production at Sharara is stabilising at around 300,000 bpd and the Opec member’s National Oil Corp is trying to restore production to its full capacity of 340,000 bpd, another Libyan oil industry source said last week.
The field has suffered from repeated shutdowns in recent years including a two-year halt that ended in late 2016.
The field suffered a “security breach” on Monday which did not impact production.
Overall oil production in the country stands at below 1 million bpd due to the continued shutdown of the 50,000 bpd As-Sarah oilfield.
The field in the northeast of the country was shut over a week ago due to protests which NOC linked to a contract dispute with German operator Wintershall.
Libya has been given an exemption from the collective production limiting agreement between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting countries and other producers led by Russia, as it tries to rebuild its oil industry following years of turmoil.
The country was producing around 1.6 million barrels per day before the revolution in 2011.