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Libya Eyes Increase In Oil Output To 1.4 Million Bpd

The Libyan government wants to boost the country's oil production to 1.4 million barrels daily, the Cabinet said on Facebook, as cited by Reuters today.

"The national unity government is keen to raise its production rates in conjunction with the rise of global crude prices", the statement said.

Currently, Libya is producing some 1.2 million barrels daily, and this is a significant increase from just a couple of years ago, when political clashes and social unrest led to port and field blockades that pushed Libya's oil output below 1 million barrels daily.

The North African country that has the most abundant oil reserves on the continent has been among OPEC members plagued by persistent problems that have prevented them from expanding their production in any meaningful way. In fact, Libya is one of the cartel members exempted from any production control agreements.

Yet there is substantial potential for a production boost there, according to the Italian ambassador to Tripoli, Giuseppe Buccino. This week, Buccino said that Libya could be pumping as much as 2 million barrels of crude daily in a year and a half or two years under favorable conditions and with the help of adequate investments.

However, while these conditions are built, instability persists in Libya. Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Libyan National Army—a paramilitary faction affiliated with the eastern Libyan government—had been urged to begin shutting down crude oil exports as a way of pressuring the Government of National Accord.

The calls were made by members of the so-called 5+5 Joint Military Committee, a formation comprising five senior military officers named by the GNA and five senior officers picked by the LNA. The LNA denied there had been any such calls, but the reports are evidence that the political situation in Libya remains unstable, to put it mildly.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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