Libyan oil production issue resolved

Libya is exempt from the OPEC-led effort to balance the market and its recovery is offsetting the collective impact.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Aug. 8, 2017 at 6:31 AM
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Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Matters that led to a disruption at Libya's largest oil field have been resolved and the situation is improving, a spokesperson for an energy company said.

A worker protest during the weekend led to halt in production from the Sharara field, the nation's largest. According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the disruption, the field was pumping around 275,000 barrels per day by the latest count from July.

A spokesperson from Austrian energy company OMV, which has a stake in those operations in the country, told UPI in response to emailed questions that "the issue is solved and production is ramping up."

Libya holds, by OMV's estimate, around 47 billion barrels of oil. Onshore areas are considered mature, though OMV said that's where it's positioned best. Conflict in Libya has limited production, though the company said the country remains an attractive place to do business.

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. The situation in Libya has improved and the country has shown the ability to recover from disruptions in oil production quicker than in the past.

Libya is moving closer to its target rate of 1.25 million barrels per day and made considerable strides after rival powers in the country agreed to a ceasefire. As recently as late July, however, the U.N. human rights agency said it was considered by unlawful killing and other security-related crises.

A survey of output from OPEC members from S&P Global Platts found Libya and Nigeria, which is also exempt from the production deal, combined to produce enough that they "threaten to undo a large portion of the group's collective cuts."

Parties to the OPEC agreement are meeting in Abu Dhabi to review compliance and production shares.

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