According to the country’s oil minister, Libya is working towards increasing its crude oil production to some 2 million barrels per day (bpd), with the extra production being destined for both increased domestic use and exports to other countries.
Speaking to the Sputnik news agency, Mohamed Aoun pointed out that the country’s capacity to refine crude oil remained limited, but pointed out this could be expanded to help meet domestic demand:
“Maybe in the future, if an [oil] refinery in the city of Az-Zawiyah is extended and new plants are built, part [of the refined materials] from there can be used for consumption and another part will be exported outside Libya, whether it is gas or oil.”
Libya’s oil production has been hindered by an uncertain political situation in recent years, but it now seems to be getting back on track. Aoun also said the country has “vast” gas reserves, again enough to meet domestic needs while also exporting some of it. He said that the country’s plan for growing natural gas production was expected to take between three and five years.
Last year, the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) agreed a deal with UK-based BP, the owner of the Castrol lubricant brand, and Italy-based Eni to explore for gas in Libya’s offshore areas. In a joint venture with NOC, Eni already produces gas in Libya from the Bahr Essalam and Wafa fields and exports some of it to Italy through a 323-mile-long pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea to Sicily.