Recovery of Libya’s largest oil field boosts OPEC country's output

By Hatem Mohareb, Saleh Sarrar and Salma El Wardany on 5/31/2017

DUBAI (Bloomberg) -- Libya’s biggest oil field boosted production, allowing the OPEC nation to pump crude at the highest level since October 2014.

Crude from Sharara field rose by 25,000 bpd to 250,000 bbl, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. Libya’s output rose to 827,000 bpd after the increase in output from Sharara, Mustafa Sanalla, head of the state-run National Oil Corp., said in a text message.

The revival in Libyan crude production comes after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied suppliers agreed on May 25 to extend a deal to cut production to battle a global oversupply until the end of March. The recent increase in Libyan output may undercut OPEC’s strategy to re-balance the market and prop up prices.

The nation with Africa’s biggest crude reserves pumped as much as 1.6 MMbpd before an uprising in 2011, and it was exempted from OPEC’s cuts due to internal strife.

Libya was producing about 700,000 bpd at the end of April. The nation’s current crude production is at the highest since October 2014 when it pumped 850,000 bpd, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Production at Sharara had dropped earlier this month due to technical problems. Oil from the field started flowing in late April to the Zawiya refinery following a three-week closure. El Feel, a field also known as Elephant, re-started last month as well, after having been halted since April 2015.

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