Bloomberg reports that Libya’s oil production has passed the landmark of a million barrels a day, marking a four-year high.
The news came from a knowledgeable source who asked to remain anonymous, citing a lack of authority to speak with the press.
Libya’s production has jumped dramatically since the start of the year, when it was pumping 690,000 barrels a day. This sudden rise is due to the El Shahara oil field, the country’s largest, coming back online last month. This will offset, to some degree, the almost 1.8 million barrels a day of cuts by OPEC and its partners, especially as these cuts were based on October 2016 production levels.
It should be pointed out, however, that the North African country’s production levels are still well below the levels seen before the civil war (about 1.6 million barrels a day), which is why Libya was exempted from the recent production cuts. In addition, Bloomberg’s OPEC production tracker points to slighter deeper overall cuts than expected in March to May despite Iraq missing its target. With more time to improve, it’s possible that the production cuts will still bite.
While the lifting of sanctions in 2003 sparked a resumed interest from oil majors such as ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, which both make industrial lubricants like Mobil DTE 10 Excel 32 and Shell Tonna S3 M 68, safety concerns after the 2011 uprising led to them cutting back their presence in Libya. Despite the recent rise in production, production and export levels remain vulnerable to action by dissatisfied workers and attacks from rival militia.