Libya sets goals for higher oil production

Oil company chairman says Libya could return to pre-war levels by next year.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 23, 2017 at 8:04 AM
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March 23 (UPI) -- Libya aims to increase crude oil production at some of its fields by 55,000 barrels to the extent that conditions permit, the nation's main oil company stated.

Officials with Libya's National Oil Corp. met with representatives from Italian energy company Eni and Mellitah Oil & Gas, which ranks itself as the largest in Libya in terms of production.

The NOC said all parties discussed increasing production at the Abu Attifel and al-Remal oil field by 55,000 barrels within the next few weeks "as per the scheduled plan and to the extent that resources permit."

Eni lists the fields in its portfolio and counts Mellitah as the operator. Oil is fed from the complex to the coastal terminal at Zuetina and then onto the export market via tanker. Production has been limited for Eni because of ongoing conflict in Libya.

Martin Kobler, the U.N. special envoy to Libya, said Thursday he had grave concerns about persistent reports of grave human rights violations in the country as the violence continues.

"It is high time to put an end to the gross violations being committed across Libya," he said, adding perpetrators may be hauled before the International Criminal Court.

Mustafa Sanalla, the head of the NOC, has nevertheless held a series of meetings with international oil companies with a steadfast interest in Libya. According to him, production is around 700,000 barrels per day and could reach 800,000 barrels per day by the end of April. Next August, he said, the goal is to reach 1.1 million barrels per day, a level consistent with pre-conflict output.

"We are doing our best to increase production despite all the obstacles and circumstances," he said in a statement.

Libya is exempt from an arrangement organized by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to limit production in an effort to balance an over-supplied market because it needs the revenue to support national security efforts.

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