Libya Planning on Increasing Oil Production


On Thursday, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Farhat Bengdara announced that the company is planning to raise oil production rates in Libya to 2 million barrels per day (bpd).

In a statement, Bengdara said that “this will be achieved in accordance with a 3-5 year medium-term plan, to increase crude oil production rates to two million barrels per day within available capabilities.”

He stressed that “the current capabilities, in terms of reservoirs and reserves will help to reach these rates,” explaining that the country’s crude oil production has surpassed 1.2 million bpd. He added that increasing oil production has been the main goal of the Board since taking office.

The NOC’s new management announced the lifting of the force majeure on all oil terminals and fields, following nearly three months of shut-ins. Former NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla was replaced by Bengdara, an ex-Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Governor on 14 July.

Prior to Sanalla’s ouster, the NOC stated on 30 June that exports had ranged from 365,000 bpd to 409,000 bpd. This was a result of the force majeure declares on loadings out of the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals, as well as production at the El-Feel oil field, following the closures of the Brega and Zueitina terminals.

Crude production reached a two-year low of 650,000 bpd in June, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC+ output by S&P Global Commodity Insights, against a capacity of 1.2 million b/d.

Libya has Africa’s largest oil reserves and hydrocarbons, which account for 95% of government revenues. This makes the control of the industry a key point of contention between its rival parties.

Armed factions have also sought to control production and exports, sometimes attacking oil infrastructure, and devastating the economy.

Libya’s economic recovery, however, is gathering momentum, boosted by a large increase in hydrocarbon output in 2021, according to the African Development Bank. The economy is expected to expand by 3.5% this year, and 4.4% in 2023. This will depend on the stabilization of the political situation, security improvements, and persistence of oil production.