By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 5 April 2017:
Production at the Sharara oil field in south west Libya is to be increased by 70,000 barrels a day in the “next weeks” following a meeting between National Oil Corporation (NOC) chief Mustafa Sanalla and the general manager of Repsol, the Spanish oil operator, Luis Paolo Navaz.
Sharara is operated by Akakus Oil Company, a joint venture between the NOC and Repsol. Austria’s OMV and France’s Total also have a stake.
It resumed production on Sunday following a week-long shutdown when the pipeline was blocked. Production was reported back at 200,000 barrels a day a couple of days ago, but had been at 221,000 b/d before the shutdown. Its production capacity is put at between 330,000 and 400,00 b/d and in 2012 it was reported to be producing 300,000 b/d.
“NOC is working hard with all its partners to increase Libyan oil production to 1.1 million b/d next August”, Sanalla said in refernece to the Repsol talks.
He also pointed out that it faced several other challenges. These included “the regularity of NOC’s obtaining of the employees’ salaries in full and on a timely manner, the budgets related to maintenance operations, the blockades, and military actions which hinder production”. These latter were the result of “some parties” paying militias to block output in order “to blackmail the state, which is totally rejected by NOC”.
He also alleged that a number of media organisations sought to “mislead the public opinion against the NOC”.