Libya says oil industry recovers
Baku, December 25 (AZERTAC). Libya, holder of Africa`s biggest oil reserves, is now pumping “more than a million” barrels a day as the oil industry recovers from months of armed conflict, the chairman of its state-run National Oil Corp. said, Bloomberg reports.
The country will resume normal oil production by the middle of next year, Nuri Berruien told reporters in Cairo today, where he attended 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.
Ben Yezza said today in Cairo there`s a “gentleman`s agreement” within OPEC to accommodate the return of Libyan oil.
OPEC set a new production ceiling for the first time in three years at its Dec. 14 meeting. The agreement to raise the group`s official output target to 30 million barrels a day underscores how some members are concerned oil at about $100 a barrel may sap demand amid signs Europe`s debt crisis is driving the world toward a recession.
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.
OAPEC was established in 1968 to foster the development of the petroleum industry in member states as part of an economic integration plan among Arab countries. The group said after the meeting ended today that it set its 2012 budget at 2.07 million Kuwaiti dinars ($7.4 million). OAPEC contains seven nations that are also within OPEC, the broader 12-nation group that influences prices by setting supply quotas.
Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria are all members of both OPEC and OAPEC.
The 12 members of OPEC, which was founded in 1960, are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.