Oil Boost Raises Hopes In Libya, Perhaps Falsely

Libya’s oil production ended April at about 760,000 b/d, up 50% from just over 500,000 b/d at the end of March, and the highest output since early December 2014. But such is the volatility of crude output in Libya that average production for the month of April as a whole, at 565,000 b/d, was the lowest since October 2016.

The late April hike in output was thanks to the re-opening of the Sharara and El Feel (Elephant) fields in the far southwest of the country, according to Mustafa Sanallah, head of Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC). The concessions have a theoretical combined production capacity of more than 400,000 b/d. The Sharara fields had been shut in since 10 April due to pipeline blockages by protestors. El Feel had been shut down since April 2015 due to a combination of industrial action and outages at Sharara, with which it shares power and pipeline infrastructure (MEES, 8 May 2015). Production from the Eni-operated Wafa field also came back onstream in mid-April after an outage of more than two weeks (see box, p3). (CONTINUED - 1461 WORDS)