The Waha field in eastern Libya has covered lost production to a 75,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) level as of Friday, according to a field engineer who spoke to Reuters on Friday.
Fighting between militia groups affiliated with a rival government and other violence had caused a linked pipeline to become damaged, hampering output since early March, when the field last produced at the current level. Waha’s total capacity is 120,000 bpd.
Waha Oil Co. – a joint venture between Marathon Co. Hess Corp. and ConocoPhillips – also had to suspend production earlier this year due to port closures at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf sites on the Oil Crescent. The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Hafter eventually regained control of the ports from the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB), allowing the field to stabilize output.
Technical difficulties and unreliable infrastructure have jeopardized Waha’s operations in the past. Electric failures in the Waha and Diffa fields compromised 60,000 bpd of production at the location, a Libyan oil official said in November.
On Monday, Libya National Oil Corporation (NOC) Chairman Mustafa Sanalla announced that the country has built its oil production up to 760,000 barrels per day and planned to go ahead with plans to expand production to 1.1 million bpd by August of this year.
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There are concerns that an uncontrolled spike in Libyan production is causing the drop in oil prices seen this week. Libya is exempt from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) November deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd for the first half of the year. Years of domestic strife since the 2011 execution of dictator Muammar Gaddafi allowed the country the leeway. The bloc is now considering an extension to the deal through the end of 2017, with key members seemingly onboard.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…