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Libya called to share production plans with OPEC

By Daniel J. Graeber
Libya called to share production plans with OPEC
OPEC calls on member state Libya, which is exempt for a multilateral production deal, to share its plans next week in St. Petersburg. Photo by cherezoff/Shutterstock

July 18 (UPI) -- Libya has been called on by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to share production plans at a summit next week, an oil company director said.

Libya and fellow OPEC member-state Nigeria are exempt from the multilateral agreement to stem production in an effort to offset some of the supply-side strains that last year pushed oil prices below $30 per barrel. Both countries have seen dramatic gains in production since the deal was implemented in January, dampening the impact.

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Parties to a committee monitoring the agreement meet next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, to review the impact. Mustafa Sanalla, the head of Libya's National Oil Corp. said OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo wants to see production plans from Libya at the meeting.

"We will take this opportunity to share with the committee the factors enabling and constraining Libya's production recovery," he said in a statement. "I will consult with significant Libyan decision-makers before I leave and hope to present a unified Libyan position in St. Petersburg that will show we can act together in the national interest."

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OPEC economists in their monthly market report for July said that, combined, Nigeria and Libya were adding about a quarter million barrels of oil per day to the market, while other member states scaled back. Recent data shows Libya is on pace to pass 1 million barrels per day, in line with Sanalla's goal for the month and close to pre-crisis levels.

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This week, members of Libya's national oil company met with officials from Norwegian energy company Statoil to review developments in the North African country. The NOC said officials from Statoil were briefed on the "improvement of security situation in the production areas and NOC plans to return production to its normal levels."

Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the OPEC-led agreement so they can steer oil revenue toward national security efforts. On Tuesday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was concerned about the treatment of prisoners by members of the Libyan National Army, which controls eastern Libya.

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"We have documented unlawful killings by armed groups on all sides of the conflict in Libya, and despite ample information regarding such crimes, widespread impunity continues," UNHCR spokesperson Liz Throssell said in an emailed statement.

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