Libya's Oil Production Rebounds Back to Level Before Clashes

  • Crude output increased to 700,000 barrels a day: NOC
  • Es Sider, biggest port, set to resume exports on March 26

Libya’s oil production has climbed back to the level before clashes disrupted output three weeks ago and forced the OPEC nation’s two biggest oil ports to halt shipments.

Output is 700,000 barrels a day and the target is 800,000 barrels a day before the end of April, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., said by email Wednesday. The nation’s biggest port, Es Sider, will load a tanker with crude on March 26, Jadalla Alaokali, board member at NOC, said earlier Wednesday by phone.

Libya has sought to boost crude exports after fighting among rival militias hobbled oil production following the 2011 revolt that ousted former leader Moammar Al Qaddafi. The conflict showed signs of calming in recent months, with oil output rising to 700,000 barrels a day in February from 260,000 a day in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Libya pumped 1.6 million barrels a day before Qaddafi’s ouster.

“We’re working hard to increase production despite the circumstances, difficulties and challenges we’re facing,” Sanalla said. Libya wants to be pumping 1.1 million barrels a day by August, he said.

The tanker set to load at Es Sider will take 1 million barrels, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The exact vessel to be used hasn’t been decided, the person said.

The country’s biggest oil field, Sharara, will increase output by 70,000 barrels a day in a few weeks, from 221,000 barrels a day currently, the NOC said in a statement on its website Tuesday, citing Sanalla. Sharara is operated by Repsol SA and is located in the far west of the country.

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