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Libya Lifts Oil Production After Restarting Fields

Libya has restarted three small oil fields and added around 10,000 bpd to its oil production—which has been steadily rising over the past two months—a spokesman for Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) told Reuters on Wednesday.

Late on Tuesday, Libya restarted the al-Bayda oil field, an engineer told Reuters, while the NOC spokesman confirmed that the company also gave instructions for oil production at the Tibesti and Dor Marada oil fields to resume.

NOC has moved to resume oil production at these three small fields in southeastern Libya, which were shut in June when armed groups attacked the eastern oil ports in Libya, forcing a large part of Libya’s oil production to shut in and NOC to declare force majeure for several weeks.

The port closure for more than two weeks in June-July blocked 850,000 bpd of Libya’s oil (nearly all Libyan production) from being exported from four ports. As a result, Libya’s oil production slumped to just 673,000 bpd in July, as per OPEC’s secondary sources. In August, production recovered to an average 950,000 bpd, while Libya’s production in September further jumped by 103,000 bpd to average 1.053 million bpd, OPEC said in its October Monthly Oil Market Report.

As of the end of September, Libya’s oil production hit its highest level since 2013, NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla said, adding that if the security situation in the country improves, Libya’s production could further rise from the recent 1.278 million bpd.

NOC is holding talks with international oil companies that could result in increased investment and production in Libya’s oil industry, if security across the country improves, Sanalla said last month.

Earlier this month, Sanalla told Bloomberg that Libya’s oil production could rise by several hundred thousand barrels daily when BP and Eni resume production at a shared field.

BP and Eni will begin exploratory drilling in Libya in the first quarter of next year, BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley told Reuters last week.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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