Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Nearly 95 per cent of Libyan production could be lost to conflict

Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation, said fresh conflict threatened the country's efforts to raise output

Libyan oil production currently averaged 1.3 million bpd, according to Mr Sanalla. Satish Kumar for the National
Libyan oil production currently averaged 1.3 million bpd, according to Mr Sanalla. Satish Kumar for the National

Around 95 per cent of Libyan production could be lost should the conflict in the North African state continue, according to the chairman of the country’s National Oil Corporation.

"Unfortunately, if this situation continues like this, 95 per cent of production will be lost,” Mustafa Sanalla the head of Libya's NOC told reporters in Jeddah.

"The war is bad and it’s creating a vacuum inside the country, so the war should be stopped to get production running.”

Libyan production currently averaged 1.3 million barrels per day, he added. Independent Opec estimates suggest Libyan oil production averaged 1.176 million bpd in April.

The Opec producer, which has some of the cheapest, largely sweet oil in northern Africa, has seen much of its output remain offline during the bloody civil war that erupted between rival factions following the downfall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. Until then, production was at about 1.75 million bpd then fell by 850,000 bpd over the succeeding years as protests and blockades prevented the export of crude via the the country’s key port terminals.

The chairman condemned today’s attacks targeting the Zella oilfield suspected to be carried out by ISIS, which left two guards killed and four kidnapped.

"Today’s attack near our fields, near Zella [such attacks and the] war should be stopped immediately,” Mr Sanalla.

The field belongs to Libya's Zueitina Oil Company, from where production averaged 19,000 bpd.

Libya has seen renewed conflict ever since troops loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take Tripoli last month.

In an earlier interview with The National, Mr Sanalla had said the country needed up to $60 billion in investments to revive its energy industry, with $40bn required to raise refining capacity to a million bpd, with the remainder channeled over the next five years in development of upstream infrastructure.

The NOC has targeted raising production capacity to two million bpd and more three billion standard cubic feet of gas by 2022.

Updated: May 18, 2019 08:24 PM

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