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Libya's Oil Industry Desperately Needs A New National Budget

Libya will struggle to keep its oil production at current levels if the country fails to resolve a long-running dispute over its budget, according to Libya’s oil minister.

Mohamed Oun, Libya’s oil minister, told Bloomberg that it plans on raising its crude oil production to 1.5 million barrels per day. This is up from the current 1.3 million barrels per day.

Back in July, Oun told media that it was shooting for 1.6 million bpd by the end of next year.

OPEC pegs Libya’s July crude oil production at 1.165 million bpd, according to secondary sources. Libya’s direct reported crude oil production came in at 1.273 million bpd, according to OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report.

But this plan’s success remains in jeopardy due to disagreements over the nation’s budget—Libya’s first national budget in nearly a decade.

“If the budget is not approved, there will be an impact and perhaps great difficulties in maintaining oil production rates,” Oun said.

Currently, Libya is exempt from OPEC’s output cuts.

Libya installed a unity government in March, and appointed a petroleum minister for the first time in five years.

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 Libya’s oil production was seriously disrupted for eight long months after a port blockade that began in January 2020. But even after the blockade was lifted in September, Libya’s crude oil production has failed to be consistent, in part because of the Petroleum Facilities Guard strikes over unpaid salaries and a lack of funds needed to restore and maintain its infrastructure.

The most recent oil production disruption came from a leaky pipeline, which took 70,000 bpd offline while it assessed the damage and made repairs.

The latter highlights Libya’s growing need for funds to maintain its critical infrastructure.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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