September 22, 2018 / 1:56 PM / in a month

Libya's AGOCO resumes 3,000 bpd production at abandoned well in Messla

TRIPOLI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Saturday its subsidiary the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) had restored production at 3,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) at an abandoned well in the eastern Messla field.

After 16 years of inactivity, production resumed at the well (HH86-65) using the latest drilling techniques developed by U.S. oilfield services company Schlumberger, the NOC said in a statement.

The oil-rich North African country was producing more than 1.6 million bpd before a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi and led to political fragmentation and armed conflict. Messla’s output was around 70,000 bpd.

Since 2014, Libya has been divided between rival governments and military factions based in the east and west of the country, causing political deadlock and an economic crisis.

However, the NOC has continued to function relatively normally across Libya, which relies on oil exports for most of its income. Output has been hit by attacks on oil facilities and blockades, though last year it partially recovered to around one million barrels per day.

Earlier this month, the NOC suffered a shooting attack on its Tripoli headquarters, claimed by Islamic State militants, that killed two people and wounded 25. But it continued to manage its operations as normal, it said.

Along with the Tripoli-based central bank, the NOC is one of the only state enterprises still functioning well despite the conflict.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami Editing by Clelia Oziel

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