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Libya’s Oil Production Could Stabilize Under New Unity Government

Libya’s Parliament approved on Wednesday the first unity government of the war-torn country since 2014, potentially paving the way to more stability in oil production in the African OPEC member, which is exempted from the OPEC+ cuts.  

At a parliament session today, lawmakers approved an interim unity government led by Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh that could put an end to the rivalry between institutions in the east and west of Libya and bring about more security and stability to oil production and oil infrastructure.

The interim government is tasked with ruling the country together with a three-member presidency council until the end of December 2021, when elections are scheduled to be held.

Libya plans to raise its oil production to 1.45 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this year, from 1.3 million bpd now, Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), told Bloomberg Television in an interview earlier this week.

Libya will be able to increase its current production by another 150,000 bpd by year’s end, provided that the state oil firm is not compromised again, according to Sanalla.

The targets for the next few years are for Libya to increase production to 1.6 million bpd in two years and to 2.1 million bpd in four years, NOC’s chairman told Bloomberg.

Libya surprised many oil market observers, and probably the OPEC+ group itself, after managing in just a few months to restore its oil production back to 1.25 million bpd from less than 100,000 in September 2020. The 1.25 million bpd level was the volume which Libya was pumping before the eighth-month-long oil port blockade began in January 2020.

Even after the lifting of the blockade in mid-September and the ceasefire from October, Libya’s oil production has not been entirely stable so far this year due to strikes from the Petroleum Facilities Guard over unpaid salaries and the lack of funds for restoration and maintenance of oil infrastructure. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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