Libyan Oil Production Recovers to Pre-Blockade

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On Sunday, Libyan Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohamed Aoun announced that the country’s oil output rebounded to early April levels. This increase could help cool the jittery global oil market.

In press statements, Aoun said that Libyan oil output has climbed to 1.2 million barrels per day, noting that was a milestone, after production had been more than halved since mid-April.

The Libyan Minister added that the increase came after an agreement was reached earlier this month, with protesters and tribal leaders to reopen fields and export terminals largely shut for months.

Libyan oil output has been hit by a power struggle between rival governments headed by Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba in the west, and Fathi Bashagha in the east. Each claim to be the legitimate Prime Minister.

The ramp-up in production would not only help bring in foreign currency into the country, but also offer some relief for under-supplied oil markets and high prices that have stoked inflation across the globe.

Libyan oil output has see-sawed over the past decade, largely as a result of the political and security unrest in the country. Power struggles between rival governments have compounded years of neglect in developing or revamping the oil infrastructure.

The latest drop was a result of a blockade and protests in the strategic oil crescent. Part of the deal to end the unrest was the overhauling of the Board of Directors of the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC). Farhat Bengadara replaced Mustafa Sanalla, who had frequently been at odds with the oil ministry that was reinstated by Dbaiba.