AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File
New York - Libya's biggest oil terminal is loading its first tanker since fighting between armed groups earlier this month halted shipments from two ports in the country with Africa’s largest crude reserves.

The Suezmax vessel Demetrios, which can carry as much as one million barrels, is loading at the port of Es Sider for export to China, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not public.

Fighting between rival groups erupted on March 3, disrupting output and forcing Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the country’s third-biggest terminal, to halt shipments.

Operations at both ports restarted later this month after the clashes ended.

Libya’s oil production has climbed back to where it was before the battle for control of the ports forced Waha Oil which feeds Es Sider, to suspend output.

The country is producing 700 000 barrels a day and targets 800000 before the end of April, Mustafa Sanalla, chairperson of state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC), said last week.

Waha, which is a joint venture between the NOC, Hess Corporation, Marathon Oil Corporation and ConocoPhillips, has resumed output and is pumping 60000 barrels a day compared with 80000 before the latest hostilities, Jadalla Alaokali, an NOC board member, said on March 23.

Exports from Es Sider are restarting as members of the Opec and allied producers meet in Kuwait to discuss possibly extending an output-cuts deal beyond June.

The more oil Libya pumps, the greater the pressure on its fellow Opec members as they seek to clear a global glut.

The country produced 1.6 million barrels a day before a 2011 revolt sparked fighting that prompted foreign investors to withdraw, hobbling its oil industry.