Libya Oil Production at 1.1 Million Barrels a Day
(Bloomberg) -- Libya boosted oil output to more than 1.1 million barrels a day, inching closer to the level it was producing before the country’s civil war all but shut down its energy industry in January.
The OPEC member, home to Africa’s largest crude reserves, ramped up production as output at its biggest oil fields including Sharara and Waha increased, according to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. That’s the first time Libya has reached this landmark since early January.
The country was producing about 1.2 million barrels a day before the country’s energy sector was mostly shuttered that month when Khalifa Haftar, a Russian-backed commander based in the east, blockaded ports and fields. Haftar, who was battling the United Nations-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, lifted his blockade in mid-September after winding down hostilities in June.
The additional Libyan barrels are an unwelcome challenge for OPEC+, a coalition of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers such as Russia. The group was set to increase output by almost 2 million barrels a day in January as part of a plan to ease cuts that began in May at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. It may be forced into a delay with crude prices under pressure again.
Libya’s resurgence -- it was producing less than 100,000 barrels a day in early September -- has taken oil traders by surprise just as renewed coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and accelerating cases in the U.S. stifle energy use. The country aims to pump 1.3 million barrels a day by the beginning of 2021, National oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in an Oct. 31 interview.
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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