Libyan Oil Minister Hopes Production will Return to 2010 Levels

Minister of Oil and Gas in Libya's Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Aoun
Minister of Oil and Gas in Libya's Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Aoun

The Minister of Oil and Gas in Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Aoun expressed his hopes that “oil production will return to 2010 levels.”

In press statements on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting in Kuwait, Aoun noted that Libya produces about 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.

He expressed his hope to raise production levels, and to return production to 2010 levels when Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels per day, “within two or three years.”

Aoun explained that he hopes that “Libya’s decision to lift the state of force majeure in the oil and gas exploration sector will encourage the return of foreign oil companies to the country.”

Last week, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) urged its foreign oil and gas partners to resume exploration and production, assuring them security had begun to improve after clashes earlier this year.

In a statement, the NOC called on international oil and gas companies to lift the force majeure declared by them.

A force majeure is a legal measure allowing companies to free themselves from contractual obligations, in light of circumstances beyond their control.

The NOC said its appeal followed a “realistic and logical analysis of the security situation, which has begun to improve dramatically.” it expressed “readiness to provide all necessary support… along with providing a safe working environment in cooperation with the civil and military authorities.”

Earlier in the same week, the GNU announced the lifting of the force majeure on all exploration operations.

The GNU reassured partners that Libya “continues to advance the oil sector as the main resource for the country, and to maintain the regular flow of oil to global markets.”

It noted that instructions have been given to all relevant ministries and Libyan agencies to take measures to provide the appropriate capabilities and conditions for companies to carry out their work.

Libya aims to raise its oil output from around 1.2 million barrels per day, to 2 million bpd by 2027, NOC Chairman, Farhat Bengdara said.

On taking up his post in July, Bengdara lifted the force majeure at all of the country’s oil fields and export terminals. This is after an eastern-based blockade cut output by 400,000 bpd.