x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Libya on track for oil recovery

Libya is on track to regain its prewar oil pumping levels of 1.6 million barrels per day next month, a top official of the transitional government has said.

Libya is on track to regain its prewar oil pumping levels of 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) next month, a top official of the transitional government has said.

That means Libya's oil industry would have recovered just in time for a meeting of Opec ministers in Vienna for a potentially contentious discussion over quotas. Last year, Opec agreed to set a collective ceiling of 30 million bpd including Iraq's output but did not set a quota for Iraq or change the group's targets for its other 11 members.

"From 400,000 [after the war], now we reach rapidly 1.5" million bpd, Mustafa El Huni, the deputy chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), said at a conference in Dubai yesterday.

"We hope after one month we will go back to our old level of production, which was about 1.65 million barrels per day according to our quota in Opec."

The news comes as oil markets, in which Libya accounted for about 2 per cent of supply before last year's revolution, are already being pushed down by economic fears in Europe and China. Yesterday, Brent, the European benchmark, was trading at US$111 a barrel.

The NTC, a temporary guardian government, has set aside 38 billion Libyan dinars (Dh109.95bn) of its 68bn dinar budget this year for rebuilding efforts in sectors including oil, communications and health care.

Next month, Libya is to elect its first national assembly, whose 200 members are tasked with drafting a constitution.

ayee@thenational.ae

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