Tripoli, 17 March 2013:
Libya plans to boost oil production according to Oil and gas Minister Abdulbari Al-Arusi. Speaking at the Prime . . .[restrict]Minister’s press conference this afternoon, Sunday, he said that extra income from oil was needed to support development projects necessary to rebuild the country.
Late last year, Libya indicated that it wanted to increase its OPEC quota of 1.5 million barrels of oil a day (b/d). In the event, when OPEC met in December, it decided to keep quotas as they were.
At the begging of 2013, though, the NOC said that Libyan oil production by the end of the year would be 1.7m b/d. It is currently around 1.6m b/d, the same as before the revolution, and already in excess of the OPEC quota.
Meanwhile, new exploration wells have been drilled onshore in the past few months and new finds announced, notably in the Ghadames basin. Others are being prepared offshore. Oil companies that had been awarded exploration contracts before the revolution but left when it broke out are now returning and restarting operations. Last week, the Polish Oil and Gas Company Libya (POGC) announced it would to start drilling its first exploration well in the Ghadames basin next month.
The target of 1.7m b/d therefore appears entirely feasible.
Just four days ago, though, Arusi announced that Libya would award yet more oil concessions. Speaking to AFP he said that “in the fourth quarter of this year we will complete the study and announce a new round of exploratory agreements”. There was, he was quoted as saying, a “huge demand” from international oil companies wanting to come to Libya.
He repeated Libya’s intention to ask OPEC to up its quota to 1.7m b/d, saying that the money was needed to pay for infrastructure destroyed in the revolution. [/restrict]