Libya, holder of Africa’s biggest oil reserves, is now pumping “more than a million” barrels a day, the chairman of its state-run National Oil Corp. said.
The country will resume normal oil production by the middle of next year, Nuri Berruien told reporters in Cairo today, where he is attending a meeting of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OAPEC.
The North African nation was pumping about 1.6 million barrels a day in January, before the armed uprising began in February that eventually ousted leader Muammar Qaddafi.
The country is seeking to raise its production to 2 million barrels a day in three-to-five years’ time, Oil Minister Abdul- Rahman Ben Yezza said Dec. 14 in Vienna while attending a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Libya is a member of both OAPEC and OPEC.
The recovery in its production rate to more than 1 million barrels a day means Libyan output now exceeds that of two fellow OPEC members, Ecuador and Qatar.
At least four tankers had been booked in the week through Dec. 22 to load 420,000 metric tons of crude oil in Libya, according to data from Poten & Partners Inc.
The ships have been chartered to pick up the equivalent of about 3.1 million barrels, compared with about 2.7 million barrels booked to load on four vessels the previous week, the New York-based shipbroker’s figures showed.