Libya’s oil production increases slightly despite political tensions
Libya’s oil production increased by 3,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.186 million bpd on Thursday, according to the National Oil Corporation (NOC), as the African member of OPEC exempted from the OPEC+ agreement has experienced a resumption of production in the past month.
Higher supply from Libya could ease upward pressure on oil prices, which have fallen in recent weeks amid recession fears as central banks continue their aggressive interest rate hikes to rein in inflation.
Yet Libya continues to be a wildcard in the oil market, despite stabilizing its oil production over the past month.
Since the end of August, Libya has been pumping nearly 1.2 million bpd or more, a level not seen before the port blockades that began this spring.
Libya’s oil output has recovered in recent weeks after the country resumed oil exports in July. The first tankers arrived in Libya to load oil for export in mid-July, ending a force majeure on major oil fields and ports that had been in place since April.
The force majeure has severely crippled Libya’s oil exports, following weeks of protests and shutdowns amid fresh division among Libya’s political class over who should rule the country.
The most recent rivalry is between Fathi Bashaga, the prime minister appointed by parliament earlier this year, and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was appointed last year in a process backed by the United Nations. . Dbeibah refused to cede power. Bashaga, backed by the eastern-based parliament, is now based in Sirte in eastern Libya, while Dbeibah is based in Tripoli.
The NOC also got a new boss after Dbeibah appointed Farhat Bengdara in August to replace the state oil company’s longtime chairman, Mustafa Sanalla.
The National Oil Corporation said in mid-July that it expected to see oil production rates recover to 1.2 million bpd in less than a month.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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