Libya continues to ramp up crude oil production with the daily total now getting closer to 300,000 bpd and exports on the rise, too.
By the end of last week, production had risen from below 100,000 bpd to 270,000 bpd, exceeding the country’s National Oil Corporation’s expectations and now, according to Bloomberg, it has hit 295,000 bpd. Sources in the know who spoke to the news agency say the ramp-up is set to continue.
Exports, as a result, are also on the rise at the three terminals that eastern-affiliated forced allowed to reopen last month. The Brega terminal is likely to see some 1.8 million barrels exported this month, divided into three cargos, while the Hariga terminal has already loaded two cargos of one million barrels each, Bloomberg reported, citing a cargo loading program. The third free terminal, Zueitina, is scheduled to export five cargoes of crude this month.
The head of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, whose troops, with help from affiliated groups, had blockaded Libya’s oil ports in January, announced the end of the blockade on September 18. A week later, the National Oil Corporation lifted the force majeure on the Zueitina port after seeing “significant improvement in the security situation that allows the NOC to resume production and exports to global markets.”
The effect of this renewed production growth in Libya, however, has been devastating for oil prices. The North African producer has been exempted from OPEC+ production cuts because of its security situation and now it can pump at will to recover vital oil revenues. As a result of the latest string of news coming from Libya, however, Brent last week fell below $40 for the first time in weeks, with WTI dropping closer to $37. This week, both benchmarks started trade with strong gains, with Brent returning above $40 a barrel. It’s an open question how long it would stay there given the latest from Libya.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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