By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 30 June 2017:
Fully a month ahead of schedule, National Oil Corporation (NOC) production has reached the average of a million barrels of oil day.
NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla had targeted August to hit the key figure but recovery in output with the return to production from smaller fields has enabled the state oil company to boost its production ahead of target.
However it remains short of the 1.6 million bpd being pumped before the 2011 Revolution and way short of the 2.3 million bpd that NOC was predicting in the balmy days after the fall of Qaddafi and before the country descended into chaos.
There remain serious constraints on further increases in production. The tank farms at Sidra and Ras Lanuf, the former seriously damaged in separate attacks by the so-called Islamic State and then by Misratan forces, have yet to be fully repaired.
There are also issues with pipeline integrity, pumping stations and in those fields that have been shut in by the conflict, challenges of reservoir management and the restoration of pressure.
Analysts suspect that it is likely that NOC’s output may dip, albeit probably briefly, below the magic one million bpd number. Moreover, as Libya which along with Nigeria was exempted from wider price-support OPEC production cuts, continues to boost production, it becomes more likely that fellow cartel members will seek to put a ceiling on output.