Benghazi, Libya | AFP | The head of Libya’s National Oil Company announced on Wednesday that oil production is expected to reach 1.25 million barrels per day by the end of 21017.
NOC president Mustafa Sanalla said, however, that “despite a surge of more than one million bpd” oil production would fluctuate “in the absence of a budgetary law”.
Sanalla, who was in the eastern city of Benghazi for talks with oil company chiefs on reuniting the sector, which like other institutions has been hard hit by divisions in Libya.
With estimated oil reserves of 48 billion barrels, Libya used to produce 1.6 million bpd before the armed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
By the end of 2014, the conflict forced the majority of oil fields and terminals to close as warring parties battled for control of Africa’s largest crude reserves.
No oil was exported from Libya’s main ports until September 2016 with the reopening of the Ras Lanuf terminal in the country’s so-called oil crescent.
The recovery of oil production and exports is needed to restore Libya’s moribund economy.
“We are aiming for 1.25 million barrels per day by the end of 2017 and 1.5 million by the end of 2018,” said Sanalla, the NOC president said, hoping that Libya’s oil production could topo two million bpd in four years.
Sanalla is to head a Libyan delegation at a meeting of OPEC and non-cartel members in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on Saturday.
He said that he wants his country to stand united, speak with one voice and “show that we are working together for the national interest”.