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Libya’s oil production has reached 551,000 barrels per day, according to National Oil Corporation chairman Mustafa Suna’a-Allah—a figure that brings Libya closer to its target of 900,000 barrels per day by the end of 2016.
The increase in crude production of 41,000 to 46,000 barrels per day over the most recent figures that were disclosed October 6 comes after Libya reopened its export ports—Sidra, Ras-Lanuf, and Zueitina—in September.
Libya’s production stood between 270,000 bpd and 300,000 bpd before the ports were reopened—in stark contrast to the 1.6 million barrels per day Libya was producing before the 2011 civil war that brought Libyan oil production to new lows.
According to secondary sources published by OPEC, Libya produced 363,000 bpd in September—and OPEC-member production figures are in the limelight as of light, as these will likely be used as a baseline for determining which OPEC members will freeze and how much.
And while a Libyan production freeze is not currently on the table, the increase in production reported today of 551,000 bpd from September levels of 363,000 bpd represent an additional 188,000 barrels per day that OPEC will need to offset when it tries to shave roughly 1 million barrels off its collective production figures sometime in November—and that’s a conservative scenario that does not account for further increases to Libya’s production figures, as the National Oil Corporation hopes to achieve by year end.
If Libya is successful in reaching 900,000 barrels per day by the end of 2016, OPEC would need to cut 1.54 million barrels per day to still be down by a million barrels collectively (and that’s not even talking about Iran).
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.