Libya’s crude oil production is set for a partial gradual recovery sooner than expected after urgent repairs on a pipeline were completed earlier than initially planned, Argus reported on Thursday, citing the National Oil Corporation (NOC).
Overall output, however, continues to be much lower than before the middle of December due to blockades at western oilfields. Currently, the country is producing around 730,000 bpd, per the latest NOC guidance cited by Argus.
Libya’s oil production had slumped to 780,000 barrels per day (bpd) earlier this week, after maintenance work on a pipeline shut down 200,000 bpd output this week, adding to outages due to blockades at four oilfields since the end of December.
To compare, the OPEC member exempted from the production cuts due to its volatile security situation produced 1.14 million bpd of crude oil in November 2021, according to the latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) from OPEC.
The country saw in December major disruptions to its oil production again, amid chaos over the holding of the presidential elections that were scheduled to take place on December 24, but were later postponed.
In recent months, Libya’s oil production and exports had enjoyed relative stability, and the country planned to raise crude output, a crucial source of state income but also the bone of contention in the allocation of said oil revenues.
However, with the December 24 presidential election approaching, chaos and clashes returned, and armed factions stopped production at oilfields again.
On December 20, Libya declared force majeure on its oil exports after crude oil production had been shut in from four of Libya’s oilfields, including the largest 300,000-bpd El Sharara field. Other oilfields that are shut in include El Feel, Wafa, and Hamada. The oilfields were shut in by members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), which is tasked with protecting the oilfields, according to Libya’s NOC. The PFG reportedly closed a valve on a pipeline going from Sharara to the Zawiya port, and another valve from Wafa to Mellita.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Oil Tops $80 After OPEC+ Sticks To Plan To Ease Cuts
- The Lone Star State May Host The World’s Next Big Hydrogen Hub
- Strong Earthquakes Spell Trouble For America’s Oil Heartland