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Libya’s Crude Oil Production Reached a 3-Year High

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Libya’s crude oil production 

Libya’s National Oil Corporation reported that the country’s crude oil production rose by 300,000 bpd between September 2016 and January 2017 to ~700,000 bpd. Production is at the highest level in the last three years. The rise in crude oil production from Libya could pressure crude oil (USO) (UCO) (PXI) (ERX) prices. For more on crude oil prices and drivers, read Part 1 of this series.

Libya is a member of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) estimates that Libya’s crude oil production rose by 35,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 620,000 bpd in December 2016—compared to the previous month. Production rose 6% month-over-month and 68% year-over-year.

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Libya’s crude oil production estimates  

Libya produced ~1.8 MMbpd (million barrels per day) of crude in 2008. Civil war and militant attacks on the country’s oil infrastructure caused the fall in Libya’s crude oil production.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation thinks that the country could produce 1.25 MMbpd of crude oil by the end of 2017 if all of the blockades on its ports are cleared.

The fall in Libya’s crude oil production after 2010 was one of the factors that kept global crude oil prices elevated until mid-2014.

Libya’s crude oil exports 

On December 19, 2016, Libya’s biggest port, Es Sider, reopened after two years. It had been shut down due to militant attacks. Es Sider’s capacity before the militant attacks was at 350,000 bpd (barrels per day). Currently, it’s operating at much lower levels. The rise in exports and production from Libya could pressure crude oil (SCO) (XLE) (DIG) (IEZ) prices.

Lower crude oil prices could impact oil producers such as ExxonMobil (XOM), Triangle Petroleum (TPLM), Denbury Resources (DNR), Devon Energy (DVN), and Laredo Petroleum (LPI).

Bearish drivers 

Libya and Nigeria were exempt from a crude oil production cut at OPEC’s meeting on November 30, 2016. For more updates, read Reality Check: Major Oil Producers’ Output Cut Plans. Iran was allowed to increase its crude oil production by 90,000 bpd. Rises in crude oil production from Iran, Libya, and Nigeria could pressure crude oil prices.

In the last part of this series, we’ll take a look at some crude oil price forecasts.

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