Libyan oil production has now topped 760,000 barrels – the highest level since December 2014, according to the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), which made the announcement on Monday, Mining Weekly reported.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said the company planned to increase production further. Previous goals have Libya producing 1.1 million barrels by this August.
The lack of a unified governing body in Libya has made the North African nation a haven for smugglers and traffickers who bring boatloads of people to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Fighting between the two rival governments and related militant groups has affected the recovery of Libya’s oil sector since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Still, there is tangible progress in the oil sector, which has caused the jump in output from 622,000 barrels per day in March.
The El-Feel oil field in western Libya—operated by a joint venture between Italy’s Eni and Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC)—reopened last week after two years, and expects to start pumping oil as soon as a power outage is fixed, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Other oil facilities that had been closed due to militant activities have also become operational again. In late April, the Wafa oilfield reopened oil and gas pipelines to its nearby port after local elders negotiated an agreement with an armed group that had caused NOC to enact a force majeure. The shutdown had started on March 26.
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Libya is exempt from the terms of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day to limit supply glut that has plagued oil markets for 2.5 years. Six years of domestic strife has caused the nation to lose its former status as one of the most prolific oil producers in Africa.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…