The chairman of Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) has said that the North african country is capable of of one million bpd output
Speaking at Platts Global Crude Oil Summit in London on 19 May 2015, Mustafa Sanallah said that Libya was working hard to return national oil production to pre-revolutionary volumes, following damage to its oilfields and the closure of its exporting terminals due to political instability.
The NOC was aiming to repair the damaged facilities over the next two months, Sanallah said, in a move which he asserted will immediately increase output by 200,000 bpd.
Production levels currently stand at around 436,000 bpd and are expected to average 400,000 bpd in 2015 — down from pre-revolutionary levels of around 1.6mn bpd.
“Over the past three years we have lost production because of our situation, and other producers have taken advantage,” Sanallah commented, adding, “We are working to resume production and develop projects, focusing in particular on offshore gas and condensates, to preserve our market share.”
“If political issues are resolved, we can easily increase production to one million bpd,” the chairman said, noting that several discoveries had been made in 2011 and the cost of production was relatively low.
Sanallah was keen to emphasise that NOC was maintaining a dialogue with tribes which had closed terminals and blockaded oilfields, adding that the company had maintained its neutral position despite the existence of two rival governments.
Speaking about OPEC, the chairman voiced his support for the Saudi Arabia-led strategy of focussing on market share, predicting no change in tactics at the next OPEC meeting this month.
“The consensus is that the oil price will recover in the second half of this year and continue to rise in 2016,” he explained and added that he expected the increase in global demand to absorb higher OPEC production and Libya to make a smooth return to the oil market without negatively impacting prices.
Hydrocarbons make a critical contribution to the Libyan economy, accounting for around 96 per cent of the country’s hard currency revenues.