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Libyan crude oil production has risen to 860,000 bpd, the country’s National Oil Corporation has said, which is up from 560,000 bpd earlier this month amid continuing disruptions.
The latest slump in oil production in one of Africa’s biggest producers came amid the latest flare-up between political factions that involved blockades of export terminals and oil fields, forcing the shutdown of a lot of production capacity.
In early July, Libya declared a force majeure on oil exports after weeks of protests and closures amid the new rift in Libya’s political class over who should govern the country.
The force majeure was lifted later the same month after a deal closed between General Khalifa Haftar—the strongman of the east whose forces control many of the country’s oil facilities—and interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah that saw Haftar accept the change of leadership at NOC.
The long-term chairman of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, was replaced earlier this month with Farhat Bengdra, which prompted a negative response from the eastern-affiliated Libyan National Army led by Haftar. Most of NOC’s subsidiaries, however, recognized Bengdra as the new NOC chairman.
The National Oil Corporation has said it plans to see oil output rates recover to 1.2 million bpd in less than a month. Violence is still rife, however, which may interfere with these plans.
Last week, production restarted at the El Feel field, which can produce 68,000 bpd, but the initial rate is lower, to be increased over the coming days.
Before the latest flare-up of violence, Libya was producing more than 1 million bpd of crude oil and had plans to expand this considerably. Earlier this year, however, amid the port blockades and field shutdowns, its production rate at one point fell to as little as 100,000 bpd before recovering.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com