Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Libya’s El Sharara oilfield, pictured in this file photo, can produce 315,000 barrels a day. Reuters
Updated 10 December 2018
0

Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Reuters BENGHAZI: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Sunday of “catastrophic consequences” if production at the El Sharara oilfield is brought to a complete halt by a tribal protest.
Should the 315,000 barrel-a-day field shut down, it would take a long time to bring it back on stream and production from another field would also be affected, the state oil firm said.
“Shutting down production at the El Sharara field will have catastrophic, long-term consequences. It would take a long time to resume production because of the sabotage and theft that are likely to happen,” NOC said in a statement.
Tribesmen stormed into the field premises on Saturday, saying their southern Fezzan region had suffered decades of neglect and demanding that the revenue from the oil produced at local fields be used to fund development projects.
NOC said that the storage tanks at the field would be completely full within hours of its statement, forcing the field to shut down as it cannot pump the crude out to processing facilities.
The company described the protesters as “criminals” because they had stopped the pumps from functioning.
“The company would then have to implement an emergency plan to evacuate the staff from the field,” it said in a statement.
If El Sharara stops operating, production at the El Feel oilfield, also in southern Libya, would also stop because El Sharara supplies it with power and the supply to the Zawiya refinery on the coast would also be interrupted, it said.
NOC accused security guards on Saturday of having facilitated the “occupation” of the field.
The tribesmen call themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement. Their spokesman, Mohamed Maighal, said that they would allow crude oil already extracted to be put into storage tanks, but would then force production to be stopped.
NOC has previously tried to avert such action through talks.


Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

Updated 26 min ago
0

Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

  • Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent
  • Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering

SINGAPORE: Fujairah in the UAE has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulfur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.
Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, forcing huge changes upon global shippers and also oil refiners.
Fujairah’s harbor master said in a faxed document seen by Reuters that the port “has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters ... (and) ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulfur cap comes into force.”
This follows top marine fueling port of Singapore announcing a similar move in November, while China banned the use of open-loop scrubbers from Jan. 1, 2019.
Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering.
Impact for shippers
To comply with IMO 2020 rules, shippers can switch to burning cleaner but more expensive oil, invest in exhaust cleaning systems known as scrubbers that may allow them to still use cheaper high-sulfur fuels, or redesign vessels to run on alternatives like liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Scrubbers use water to clean up fuel emissions, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.
Open-loop scrubbers are the cheapest option, but they have come under criticism as they wash heavy metals and sulfur from the waste water into seas instead of storing it for a controlled discharge in ports, as closed-loop scrubbers do.
Of the more than 2,000 ships that have so far opted to invest in scrubbers, around three-quarters have installed the cheaper, open-loop type, shipping sources estimated.
Closed-loop scrubbers, which store wash water for later discharge, are still accepted in most ports.
Despite the spreading bans of open-loop scrubbers, Douglas Raitt of ship classifier Lloyd’s Register said vessels can still benefit from such systems as they can pump out the waste water in open seas, outside a port’s jurisdiction.
“The benefits of open-loop scrubbers are largely realized in open water during transit from one port to the next,” he said.
Raitt said shippers, however, should consider alternative measures to prepare for IMO 2020, considering that when the new rules come into force refueling infrastructure will be mostly geared toward compliant low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) rather than high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO).
“Prevailing wisdom would be for operators opting for scrubbers to have a meaningful dialogue with their supplier base to secure HSFO post-2020 in ports of call,” Raitt said.