Libya's oil production is 1.069 million b/d, and the country hopes to grow its output to as much as 1.25 million b/d this year, a source close to production said Monday.
This would be the first time since 2013 that Libyan output would break above 1 million b/d, but state-owned National Oil Corp., or NOC, has been strangely silent, and has not officially confirmed current production.
In its last statement on production in June, Libyan oil officials told OPEC its produced 852,000 b/d.
The silence has led some industry observers to doubt whether production was stable at this level, and it remains unclear which fields have contributed to the increased rates.
"They might have indeed hit that 1 million b/d mark. But my feeling here is that this number is capacity, not average production, and output is probably fluctuating between 900,000 b/d and 1 million b/d," North African analyst with Medley Global Advisors Mohammed Darwazeh said.
Rising production has thrown the spotlight on NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla, who was invited to explain Libya's production outlook at the OPEC/non-OPEC technical committee meeting in St Petersburg, Russia on Saturday.
OPEC has been in a quandary in the last few months, as the effectiveness of its cuts is being blunted by the sharp rise in production from Nigeria and Libya, two members of the organization that were exempted from the original output deal in November.
Omani oil minister Mohammed Rumhy told S&P Global Platts in an interview in St Petersburg, that Libya and Nigeria should have their exemptions from the cuts rescinded and they should stop talking about their plans to increase production, which he said was contributing to bearish sentiment in the market.
Non-OPEC producer Oman, is a member of the group's monitoring committee along with ministers from Kuwait, Russia, Venezuela and Algeria.
Under the deal, 14 OPEC countries and 10 non-OPEC producers led by Russia agreed to cut 1.8 million b/d from the market through March 2018.
Sanalla has previously said NOC plans to lift its moratorium on international investment and is targeting oil production of 1.25 million b/d by the end of the year.
Despite the recent increases, there are serious technical constraints on further output increases. Storage tanks at the Es-Sider and Ras Lanuf oil export terminals have been damaged by Islamic State militant attacks, as well as power supply, pumping and pipeline problems across the country's oil fields.
There is also a risk to Libya's export terminals from militia attacks, which would shut-in upstream production, and could push output back down to a 300,000-500,000 b/d range, so any gains remain vulnerable.
Separately, NOC is also reported to have made a third export shipment from its new floating storage and offloading vessel at the offshore El-Bouri oil field.
Operations at the FSO, Gaza, began at the end of January, providing 1.5 million barrels of storage.
Gaza is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint venture of NOC and Italy's Eni.
The offshore El-Bouri and Al-Jurf fields have been unaffected by the country's wider political turmoil, with a regular steady stream of two export cargoes for each crude grade loaded each month.
Source: PlattsPrevious Next
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