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Libya set to further increase oil production

Libya is looking to build upon its recent ramping up of oil production. The country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has announced its intention to average 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2024.

The country’s oil production currently stands at 1,224 million bpd. A few months ago, it was as low as 121,000 bpd as blockades by a rival faction brought oil production all but to a standstill. The country has 48,363 million barrels of proven crude oil reserves, the most of any African country, along with substantial natural gas reserves.

Before the Arab Spring, the country pumped 1.6 million bpd of crude oil, but a decade of war and neglect has taken its toll on the country’s aging oil infrastructure. For example, a 60-year-old pipeline needed to be shut down in January, resulting in a 200,000 bpd drop in production.

Nevertheless, NOC says it is in discussions with its partners about helping to fund infrastructure projects. For example, Total, which also makes industrial lubricant products, owns stakes in many of Libya’s key oil fields, and together with other oil majors, it is looking to expand its activities in the country since the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

While Libya is a member of OPEC, its oil production is currently not restricted because of political instability in recent years. NOC reported oil revenues of $1.115 billion for December last year, which will be much needed in a country that has experienced a decade of war followed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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