Another milestone has been reached by Libya, with the country restoring production in its largest fields and pumping 800,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The export of oil had been hindered for eight months due to a blockade by factional forces in the east of the country. A ceasefire between Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s government, which is recognised by the United Nations, and the faction controlled by Khalifa Haftar was recently formalised, paving the way for the blockade to end.
According to the chairman of the government-owned National Oil Corp., Mustafa Sanalla, the aim is to reach one million bpd in November and 1.3 million bpd by the start of the next year. The ongoing blockade had forced production to plummet to 100,000 bpd, far below its OPEC quota of 1.7 million bpd.
Libya’s return to sizeable production will likely be discussed at the next meeting of OPEC and its allies in the context of an overall weak demand outlook. Speaking in an interview, Sanalla expressed the country’s willingness to work with OPEC:
“We’re very interested in coordinating with our colleagues in OPEC. We’re interested in achieving a balance in terms of supply and demand.”
Sanalla added that the company hoped to be pumping 1.6 million bpd by the end of next year, but he pointed out that was contingent upon sufficient finance being allocated to the company.
Oil majors like Eni and BP, the maker of the Castrol lubricant range, also hold rights in the country’s offshore region,s but have so far held back from beginning exploration work.