The Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) has announced that oil production in the country is now estimated at 250,000 barrels/day, still at a low level despite the export Friday of a third shipment to the international market from the port at Zueitina.
The oil that was exported had been in storage tanks at oil terminals for the past nine months that armed groups have seized the terminals over sundry protests.
The NOC said the decline in production, normally at 1.5 million barrels/day, is due to the closure of several production sites because of the protests.
The oil fields at Al-Charara (340,000 barrels/day), Al-Fil (100,000 barrels/day) and Al-Wafa (70,000 barrels/day) are still being held by protesters.
The resumption of oil exports from Libya, after a break of several months, has given some hope both at local and international levels for a rapid rise in Libyan oil production.
Under the quota of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC), Libya had been expected to produce one million barrels/day for June 2014, especially after the lifting of blockade in export terminals.
But protests, insecurity and political crisis linked to the nomination of a new Prime Minister have kept production low in Africa’s fourth largest oil producer with reserves estimated at 47 billion barrels.