Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC), which is state owned, will invest $50bn in the country’s oil and gas industry this year to raise production. It is expected that the investment will return production to the level seen before the 2011 civil war – around 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd).
Speaking to S&P Global Platts in Japan, the chairman of Ras Lanuf Oil & Gas Processing Company, an NOC subsidiary, said:
“Fifty billion dollars is the budget for this year to improve oil and gas production and to improve downstream [operations] but most of this is for crude oil.”
He added that the intention is to raise production to 1.6m bpd this year and to reach 2m bpd next year, although he stressed that the country faces security challenges as rival militant groups compete for control over the oil sector. The investment is largely expected to put into solving security issues and replacing outdated oil-production systems.
Higher oil revenues have already helped to halve the country’s budget deficit when compared to two years ago, according to Libya’s central bank, which also allocated the funding to NOC.
After the United Nations’ sanctions on Muammar Gaddafi’s government were lifted in 2003, many big oil companies like ExxonMobil, the oil major behind Mobil stockists, were keen to develop Libya’s oil resources. Following the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East, most left the country or scaled back their operations. Since then, the country has tried to restore its oil production amid periodic militant activity.