UPDATED: Force majeure declared in Libya at Elephant/ El Feel field, Exports suspended from Zueitina oil port

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TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, April 17 (Reuters) – Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) declared on Sunday force majeure on oil production from the Elephant oil field, also known as El Feel, curtailing the North African nation’s production by 70,000 barrels per day.

The state-owned oil company said in a statement that a group of people, which it did not identify, had entered the facilities the previous day and prevented employees from working.

The takeover of the field, located in the southwest of the country, appears to be an action against the Tripoli-based prime minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah.

Libya has had two competing governments since March when the eastern-based parliament appointed Fathi Bashagha to replace Dbeibah, renewing a standoff between the east and west of the country.

Libya’s oil production averaged 1.21 million barrels per day before the latest outage at the Elephant field.

In another development, exports from Libya’s Zueitina oil port were suspended after protesters got into the port on Sunday morning, two oil engineers at the port told Reuters. A tanker was prevented from loading one million barrels at the oil port, the engineers added.

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