A foreign oil tanker shipped a total of 1 million barrels of crude oil from the Libyan oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Zuwaytina, operated by the International Maritime Company in Tobruk, in preparation for export to China on Friday.
A delegation from Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), led by Chairperson Mustafa Sanallah, was in China last week to discuss cooperation with the Asian giant to restore Libya’s oil industry that has suffered through years of unrest.
“With a more stable security environment, we could easily add between 300-400,000 barrels to daily production and grow oil revenue receipts. Our long-term strategy is to produce 2.1 million bpd by 2023. China can help us on that journey,” Sanallah said.
However, continued lower prices and further production disruptions may affect foreign investments into Libyan oil industry, even eager ones such as China.
Libya’s oil revenues reached around $24.4 billion in 2018, which is a five-year high and a 78 percent year-on-year increase.
The increase in oil production continued in the second quarter (Q2) of the year over Q1, but lower oil prices in 2019 hurt Libya’s oil revenues, which for the first six months of 2019 lagged H1 2018 by 11.2 percent, coming in at $10.2 billion. This revenue is critical to Libya which is relying on oil almost completely for its revenue. In H1, 92.8 percent of Libya’s total income was from oil.
Libya’s oil production has reached 1.3 million barrels per day, but the tensions in Libya would eventually impact the production, Sanalla added.
Libya’s proven oil reserves stand at nearly 50 billion barrels, according to OPEC.