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Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has said that the country’s crude oil production has reached 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), the Libyan News Agency reported on Wednesday.
According to secondary sources in OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), Libyan crude oil production averaged 1.161 million bpd in March, down by 2,000 bpd compared to February.
Libya is exempted from the OPEC+ agreement for the reduction of oil supply to the market because of the African OPEC member’s volatile security situation in recent years.
Since the end of August 2022, Libya has been pumping close to or even above 1.2 million bpd, the level last seen before the port blockades that began in the spring of 2022.
Libya’s oil production recovered after the country resumed oil exports in July 2022. The first tankers arrived in Libya to load oil for export in mid-July, ending a force majeure on key oilfields and ports that had been in place since April 2022.
The force majeure severely crippled Libya’s oil exports following weeks of protests and closures amid a rift in Libya’s political class over who should be governing the country.
Oil production capacity in Libya is expected to reach a maximum of 1.8 million bpd by 2024, even if political stability prevails and clashes cease, according to a report by the African Energy Chamber from early this year.
The estimates were published at the beginning of this year after the Libyan Government of National Unity said it hoped the country could be able to produce 3 million bpd in two or three years.
This year, Libyan oil production could reach 1.3 million bpd after averaging 1.12 million bpd in 2022, according to the African Energy Chamber.
According to an overview of Africa’s upstream sector by the African Energy Chamber, “Total and Eni are ‘close’ to finalizing oil production deals with Libya, where BP is also due to begin new onshore drilling. These reassuring signs all address the other major challenge shared by Libya, Angola, and Nigeria: Lack of new projects and foreign investment.”
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com