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Oil production in Libya has already exceeded 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), a source in Libya’s oil industry told Reuters on Friday, while this faster-than-expected output resumption could give OPEC+ yet another reason to reconsider its current plan to ease the ongoing cuts by 2 million bpd from January.
Libya’s oil production has now reached 1.215 million bpd, the source told Reuters.
Production in Libya started to rise in the middle of September after the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of General Khalifa Haftar lifted the eight-month-long blockade on Libyan oil fields and terminals. Since mid-September, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has gradually lifted force majeure on the oil terminals and oilfields, and Libya’s crude oil production rose from below 100,000 bpd during the blockade to as much as 500,000 bpd in the middle of October.
NOC said over the weekend that oil production had already topped 1 million bpd but warned that these levels might not be sustainable.
“The National Oil Corporation asserts that it may not be able to sustain the current production levels and these levels may be reduced or totally ceased under the reluctance of some entities and their hindering of NOC’s efforts to increase production and restore the prosperity of the national economy,” the company said in a statement.
Within a month, Libya’s production could reach 1.3 million bpd, NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla told the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Despite the fact that Libya’s oil production has hit 1 million bpd, the OPEC member exempted from the cuts will not join the OPEC+ quotas until its output stabilizes at 1.7 million bpd, Sanalla told Wall Street Journal reporter Benoit Faucon.
The return of Libyan oil has been a growing concern for the oil market and for the OPEC+ group as well because the outlook on global oil demand is clouded again by the second coronavirus wave.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com