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East Libya to allow export of stored oil port products to ease power crisis

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Authorities in eastern Libya will allow limited exports from blockaded oil ports to free up storage space and enable the production of fuel for power stations, an oil facilities guard and an engineer said on Tuesday.

A blockade imposed by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) and its allies at major oil ports and facilities since January has contributed to worsening power cuts in the east of the divided country.

The blockade has led to a build-up of stored condensate and to cuts in the production of gas used for power generation.

Output of locally refined fuel has also dropped, and financial constraints have limited fuel imports for power generation.

Based on a decision by LNA leader Khalifa Haftar, only what was stored in tanks at the blockaded ports would be exported, Naji al-Moghrabi, head of eastern based oil facilities guards, told Reuters.

A local oil engineer said the temporary opening would allow for the emptying of tanks holding condensate, in order to ease the crisis in electricity generation.

The National Oil Corporation, which is based in the capital Tripoli in the west and has repeatedly appealed for an end to the blockade, did not immediately comment.

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