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.
The country will resume normal oil production by the middle of next year, Nuri Berruien told reporters in Cairo, 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 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.