x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Libyan oil production rises to near prewar levels

Libya's oil production capacity is approaching prewar levels as it passes the 1 million bpd landmark.

Libya's oil production capacity is soaring towards prewar levels.

The state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) yesterday said its Arabian Gulf Oil Company unit would resume prewar output of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the month. It currently pumps 305,000 bpd, the company said on its website.

At a meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries on December 24, Nuri Berruien, the chairman of the NOC, said overall Libyan production had passed the 1 million bpd landmark.

Wells in Africa's largest crude producer pumped 1.6 million bpd before the civil war last year. Libya aims to raise production capacity to 2 million bpd within five years, Abdul Rahman Ben Yezza, the oil minister, said at the last Opec meeting on December 14.

The scale of the recovery in Libya was not anticipated by many observers, who feared the hasty shutting down of wells would preclude a speedy return to production. The waxy nature of Libyan oil was also thought to be damaging to idle production infrastructure.

"We estimate that it will take around 36 months for the country to recover its full production capacity," said a Wood Mackenzie report before hostilities ended.

fneuhof@thenational.ae

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