Libya Pumps 1.4 Million Barrels a Day of Oil, NOC Chief Says

Libya is pumping 1.4 million barrels a day of crude and is on track to exceed what it produced before last year’s revolt against Muammar Qaddafi, said the chairman of the state-run National Oil Corp.

The NOC expects Libya to pump 1.5 million barrels a day by early April and 1.7 million barrels a day by the end of 2012, Nuri Berruien said in an interview. The country is producing about 2.3 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas, and its biggest oil refinery at Ras Lanuf will resume operation in early April, he said today at his office in the capital Tripoli.

Libya, the holder of Africa’s biggest crude reserves, is boosting production after months of fighting to oust the nation’s former leader disrupted oil output and exports. The OPEC member pumped about 1.6 million barrels a day in January 2011, before the uprising against Qaddafi began last February.

“Production is building up gradually around the country as we repair damaged equipment, transportation and fields,” Berruien said. He said the conflict inflicted “just under one billion dollars” of damage to Libya’s oil and gas facilities.

Ras Lanuf will start up once it receives crude from fields including Sarir, he said. The refinery has a processing capacity of 220,000 barrels of crude a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ras Lanuf halted operations last February and has remained shut except for 13 days in August, the data show.

Arabian Gulf Oil Co., based in Benghazi, is resuming seismic surveys and exploration, and a seismic crew is working at the onshore Hamada field, Berruien said.

(Source: San Diego Source)

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