Oil production capacity in restive African OPEC member Libya is expected to reach a maximum of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2024 even if political stability prevails and clashes cease, according to a report by the African Energy Chamber.
In November, Libya’s crude oil production averaged 1.133 million bpd, the latest OPEC monthly report for December showed last month.
The Chamber’s estimates, reported by The Libya Observer, were published at the beginning of this year after the Libyan Government of National Unity said it hoped the country could be able to produce 3 million bpd in two or three years.
This year, Libyan oil production could reach 1.3 million bpd, after averaging 1.12 million bpd in 2022, according to the African Energy Chamber.
Since the end of August 2022, Libya has been pumping close to or even above 1.2 million bpd, a level last seen before the port blockades that began in the spring of 2022.
Libya’s oil production recovered after the country resumed oil exports in July. The first tankers arrived in Libya to load oil for export in mid-July, ending a force majeure on key oilfields and ports that had been in place since April 2022.
The force majeure severely crippled Libya’s oil exports following weeks of protests and closures amid the new rift in Libya’s political class over who should be governing the country.
According to an overview of Africa’s upstream sector by the African Energy Chamber, “Total and Eni are ‘close’ to finalizing oil production deals with Libya, where BP is also due to begin new onshore drilling. These reassuring signs all address the other major challenge shared by Libya, Angola, and Nigeria: Lack of new projects and foreign investment.”
Africa’s oil production is expected to rise only slightly to just over 7 million bpd in 2023. A stable Libya and fresh projects could see that output grow to 7.25 million bpd by 2030, according to the African Energy Chamber.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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