Minister Says Libya Oil Output Has Risen  | Rigzone


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Libya’s oil production has risen in the past week to around 700,000 to 800,000 barrels a day, according to Energy Minister Mohamed Oun.

Oun, who gave the updated estimate on Monday, said on June 13 that the OPEC member’s output was down to 100,000-200,000 barrels a day. Production in Libya, home of Africa’s largest oil reserves, has been volatile this year amid an increase in political tension and protests at energy fields and ports.

Libya’s parliament-backed prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, said the nation has little chance of holding elections this year, raising the prospect of the oil production outages lasting for months.

The country pumped an average of 1.2 million barrels a day last year. Major importers in Europe were hoping it would be able to raise that figure to help counter supply constraints elsewhere in the world. Crude prices have surged almost 50% this year to $110 a barrel, mostly due to the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The increase in Libya’s output in recent days is partly due to the nation’s biggest field, Sharara, ramping up, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The southwestern deposit is operated by Libya’s National Oil Corp. in a joint venture with Spain’s Repsol SA, France’s TotalEnergies SE, Austria’s OMV AG and Norway’s Equinor ASA. It can pump around 300,000 barrels daily at full capacity.

Sarir, a key field in the east of the country, is also producing more, the people said. Output at Agoco, which operates Sarir, has reached about 270,000 barrels a day after Sarir restarted on June 16, they added. 

Libya has been mired in conflict since the fall of dictator Moammar Al Qaddafi in 2011. The nation is facing a standoff between rival politicians, with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah resisting demands from some lawmakers to resign after they declared Bashagha as premier in February. 

Bashagha has set up a new government in the city of Sirte following clashes in Tripoli, the capital, between militias loyal to him and others who back Dbeibah.

The North African nation was meant to hold a presidential election in December, but the process was delayed with just days to go, dealing a blow to peace efforts. Creaky oil facilities, already struggling to maintain production, have been the target of protests in recent months.

A power struggle inside the oil sector has added yet another layer of risk. The relationship between NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla, who has for years run the energy sector and signed agreements with international oil companies, and the petroleum minister has been strained since the government in Tripoli set out to restore the Ministry of Oil in March 2021.  

The ministry’s attempt to assert greater control sparked an internal crisis. Oun asked the government to dismiss Sanalla several times and change NOC’s board. Oun has been recently complaining about the state-run company not sending production figures and intel to the ministry.

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