Libyan oil production set to rise

Bloomberg reports an unidentified source as saying that oil production is set to recover in Libya as its Sharara field restarts. Production was suspended for over two weeks when an armed faction closed one of its pipelines.

According to the source, Sharara is back to producing 230,000 barrels per day (bpd), with the North African country’s total output being 950,000 bpd. The country had exceeded a million bpd in August before the disruption to the Sharara field.

While Libya has the largest crude reserves in Africa, it has struggled to restore production and still remains some way off the 1.6 million bpd that was seen prior to the 2011 civil war. The worsening security situation saw many oil giants postpone their exploration activities in the country. ExxonMobil, which also makes industrial lubricants like Mobil DTE 10 Excel 32, scaled down its Libyan presence in 2013, while Shell suspended operations the year before amid disappointing results.

Despite still being some way off its pre-2011 production levels, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Iran’s Oil Minister, told reporters in Tehran that OPEC needs to address the oil production in Libya and Nigeria, which has also seen a recent rebound in production. Both countries are OPEC members but were exempted from any production caps as they struggled against disruptions from armed factions and militants.

The rising production from both countries has, to an extent, hampered OPEC’s effort to clear the global supply glut, and some think Libya and Nigeria may be asked to participate in the production cuts at OPEC’s next meeting.