NOC Targets 2.2m bpd Oil in 5 Yrs

Libya has increased its oil production much faster than analysts had expected after last year's civil war, to a current level of around 1.6 million bpd, according to a report from Reuters.

But in recent months operations at refineries and terminals have been disrupted by political activists, as happened this week at Zawiya refinery, which had the knock-on effect of a one-day shutdown at the 200,000-bpd Sharara oilfield.

"We had some drops in production. Welcome to democracy and freedom of expression. We had strikes and we expect more of that, but it is a healthy thing," National Oil Corporation (NOC) Chairman Nuri Berruien (pictured) said at the North Africa Oil and Gas Summit.

He said future rises in oil production would mostly come from existing fields, with Libya aiming to boost production to 2.2 million bpd within five years.

The NOC plans a fourth Exploration Production and Sharing Agreement (EPSA 4) next year, Berruien said without providing details.

Investing in new refining capacity will also be a priority for the company; despite being one of Africa's top oil producers, Libya relies on imports for around three quarters of its gasoline consumption.

(Source: Reuters)

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