Libya’s deadly flood that is estimated to have killed more than 11,000 people with thousands more missing hasn’t harmed oil export terminals in the African OPEC member and ports are operating normally, the head of Libya’s state oil firm told Bloomberg in an interview published on Friday.
The oil export terminals in eastern Libya continue to operate under normal conditions, Farhat Bengdara, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), told Bloomberg.
Amos Hochstein, the senior advisor to U.S. President Joe Biden for Energy and Investment, had told Bloomberg Radio earlier that there were some curtailments at Libya’s oil ports after the flood.
Early this week, NOC declared a state of emergency for its oil ports amid the Mediterranean storm Daniel that swept through Greece last week and was heading to North Africa.
The four oil export ports – Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, Brega, and Es Sider – reopened on Wednesday following their closure ahead of Storm Daniel, which caused extensive damage in Libya’s east and is estimated to have killed thousands after wiping out a quarter of a city into the sea.
On Sunday, right before Storm Daniel hit Libya, the NOC reported that its oil production had reached 1.207 million barrels per day.
An Interior Ministry spokesman for Libya’s eastern-based government said on Tuesday that the death toll in the eastern port city of Derna alone had reached 5,200 people and that number was expected to rise to more than 10,000. The spokesman said that international rescue teams were still working to recover bodies swept into the sea during the storm, the Libya Observer reported.
As of early Friday, the death toll is estimated to have climbed to more than 11,000, AP reported. Authorities evacuated residents from Derna and limited access to the city as search operations continue for around 10,000 residents who are still missing.