By Salma El Wardany and Hatem Mohareb sure 10/16/2020
(Bloomberg) – Libya’s daily oil production has risen to around 500,000 barrels, according to people familiar with the situation, as the war-torn country restarts its energy industry after a truce.
Sharara, the country’s largest oil field, pumps around 110,000 barrels a day, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media. The southwestern deposit, with a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, restarted on Sunday.
Brent crude fell on the news, but subsequently reduced some losses. The international benchmark was 0.6% lower Thursday night at $ 43.06 a barrel.
The end of the civil war in Libya led to the reopening of many fields and ports in the east of the country last month, after an almost total shutdown of energy installations since January. Previously, Libya produced 1.2 million barrels per day.
Libya is home to Africa’s largest crude reserves and the return of its barrels is weighing on oil prices, just as tightening virus restrictions in many countries are reducing demand for energy. The North African nation is a member of OPEC +, although it is free from supply restrictions, the cartel launched in May to raise oil prices, which are down about 35% this year.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. predicts Libyan production could reach 1 million barrels per day by March, although this will depend on whether the truce is held.
Libya’s oil exports have averaged 385,000 barrels per day in the first two weeks of this month, up from 213,000 barrels per day for the entire month of September, according to tanker tracking data monitored by Bloomberg . Many of these shipments come from storage tanks in ports, rather than freshly pumped crude.
Here’s a breakdown of the production:
- Arabian Gulf Oil Co., or Agoco, was producing 257,000 barrels a day Thursday from its eastern fields, another person said
- Sirte Oil Co., which operates fields supplying the port of Brega, pumps 76,000 barrels a day, another person said.
- Fields managed by Mellitah Oil Co. produce 100,000 barrels per day
- El Feel, which is close to Sharara and needs electricity from its larger neighbor to operate, has not restarted; but the 70,000 barrels per day field normally follows Sharara closures and is expected to resume soon
Here is the latest information on the ports:
- The port of Zawiya, which handles crude from Sharara, is expected to load 630,000 barrels on the tanker Aegean Nobility this month, according to an IPL plan; exports will be the port’s first since January
- The two eastern oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the largest and third respectively in the country, are still closed
- Brega is expected to export three shipments next month