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Libya Blames Low Oil Prices For Tanking Revenue

Libya’s oil revenues fell by 19 percent from October to stand at US$1.8 billion in November 2019, the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said, attributing the decline to the lower oil prices last November.

Compared to November 2018, Libya’s oil revenues plunged by 25 percent this past November, due to the lower oil prices and bad weather, the Libya Herald reports, citing data and statements from NOC.

Year to date to November 2019, oil revenues in one of Africa’s largest oil producers exceeded US$20 billion and stood at US$20.3 billion.

“Overall, despite adverse conditions, NOC is on track to hit its production increase and revenue generation targets, with oil and gas condensate production volumes consistent at 1.23 million b/d in November, compared to 1.22 million b/d in October,” NOC’s Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said, as quoted by Libya Herald.

Since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011, Libya has been ravaged by an on-and-off civil war that has affected its oil production and infrastructure.  

Libya is exempted from the OPEC+ production cuts due to its fragile security situation, and recent flare-ups show that OPEC and its partners were right to take Libya out of the production cuts equation and not rely on it for consistency in production.

Libya’s oil production was volatile in the spring and summer after eastern strongman General Khalifa Haftar—whose forces control most of Libya’s oilfields—ordered in early April his Libyan National Army to march on the capital Tripoli.

Related: Oil Giant Sees Stock Soar 20% On Unexpected Oil Find

Two outages at the biggest oil field, Sharara, in one month forced Libya’s oil production down to below 1 million bpd in the first week of August—the lowest level in five months.

Libya’s crude oil production stabilized and even increased in September, October, and November, reaching 1.188 million bpd in November, up by 23,000 bpd compared to October, according to OPEC’s secondary sources.

Libya’s December production, however, is expected to have dropped from November, after NOC declared a force majeure for a few days in early December on the Mellitah crude blend loadings because of an unlawful closure of a valve on the export pipeline from the El Feel oilfield to Mellitah.  

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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