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Libya’s crude oil production exceeds one million barrels a day following months of civil war

10 November 2020

Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on November 7 that it had managed to raise production rates of crude oil above one million barrels a day, the first time this has happened since January due to the civil war in the country.

The NOC thanked its employees for their intensified and exceptional efforts that were exerted under “very difficult circumstances”. The oil company added that it still faces large financial difficulties and that the production rates may not be maintained due to “the reluctance of some entities and their hindering of NOC’s efforts to increase production and restore the prosperity of the national economy.”

The two sides of Libya’s civil war are set to meet in November to undergo peace talks, however there is no guarantee of a permanent peace deal being signed.

The OPEC member has increased production significantly in recent weeks after a ceasefire was announced in Libya’s civil war. The country’s oil sector was mostly closed down in January 2020 after Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army in the east of the country, blockaded several ports and oil fields. These were eventually lifted in September, when Libya was producing less than 100,000 barrels per day. 

It is unknown how long the NOC will be able to maintain a high level of production due to the state of Libya’s oil facilities. Output levels from many of the country’s oil fields have varied over recent years due to the degradation of pipelines and refineries which have not undergone maintenance due to the civil war.

Libya’s sudden increase in output and the worldwide drop in energy demand are likely to dominate talks at the OPEC+ meeting at the end of November, Reuters reports. OPEC+ has imposed production limits in recent months and is expected to cut these by a further two million barrels per day from January.


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