Libya: Just under 1 million barrels per day of oil production

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Libya’s oil production is gradually increasing after the end of the blockade of its western fields and the reopening of ports in the east, according to the Libyan Minister of Oil and Gas.

Production is 963,000 barrels per day, Mohamed Owen said in response to questions from Bloomberg on Thursday.

Production has fluctuated significantly since mid-December, when militias forced western oil wells, including Libya’s largest, Sarah, to close as part of a political dispute.

The sector was further hit when a major pipeline was closed for repairs earlier this month and then again when bad weather caused the closure of at least four eastern ports.

Libya’s daily production, which averaged 1.2 million barrels per day last year, fell to just 700,000 barrels. Sarara has been pumping 200,000 barrels since Wednesday, at about 60% of its capacity.

Exports may still be hampered, at least in the coming days, by the ports to the west being closed, also due to difficult weather conditions.

Oil traders are watching Libya closely. The country has the largest reserves in Africa and any disruptions will further “tighten” the market at a time when demand is recovering from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. US WTI crude has already risen 10 percent this year to almost $ 83 a barrel, extending last year’s 55 percent increase.

The instability in Libya’s production comes as political tensions rise. Presidential elections were scheduled for December 24, but were postponed as disagreements over candidate eligibility threatened to sow new unrest in a country in conflict or civil war for much of the past decade.

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