Sanalla to defend Libyan production against further Opec push for cuts
By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 20 September 2017:
The head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, is expected to attend a meeting in Vienna on Friday between members of OPEC and other major oil producers outside the cartel to continue production cuts agreed last November beyond their scheduled expiry date of March 2018.
However, the producers are now said to want the cuts to be extend to Libya as well as Nigeria, both of which were effectively exempted from the deal last year when it was agreed to reduce production by 1.8m b/d. At the subsequent OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee meeting in St Petersburg in July, Libya was allowed to produce up to 1.25m b/d – above its production of 900,000 b/d at the time but not far off Sanalla’s hoped-for output by the end of this year of 1.2m b/d.
However, with production again back around the 1m b/d mark, other producers now complain that increasing Libyan and Nigerian production is counteracting the cutback programme aimed at stabilising the price of oil. They point out that Libya’s increasing production this year has alone offset a third of 1.8m-b/d cut.
Sanalla is likely to reject any such moves. He will point out that the country’s production has already been massively cut, far more than that of any other producer: the target of 1.2m b/d is 25 percent down on what Libya was producing before the revolution and almost 30 percent down on what its OPEC quota was in 2011. He is expected to say that in the circumstances, any capping on Libyan production would be grossly unfair.