Oil & Gas 360 Publishers Note: We have been covering this on the Daily Energy News Beat, and called that Libyan crude would hit the 1.2 mark in 2020. Many other news groups were indicating 2021. Hats off to Argus, and our other news confirmation sources.

London, 16 November (Argus) — Libya’s crude production has risen to 1.2mn b/d, a level not seen since before port and field blockades curtailed output at the start of the year.

Output has recovered quickly since a deal to end the blockades was struck between the country’s warring factions in mid-September. State-owned oil firm NOC’s last official update was that production had exceeded 1mn b/d as of 7 November. It has risen to 1.2mn b/d in recent days, according to a Libyan source.

NOC pegged production near 1.2mn b/d just before forces affiliated with Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) imposed the blockades in January, bringing the vast majority of Libya’s crude output and exports to a halt. The last time Libya’s monthly crude production averaged 1.2mn b/d was back in April 2019, according to Argus estimates.

Despite the swift recovery in output over the past two months, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla has indicated that Libya is unlikely to be able to take on an Opec+ production quota until its output stabilises at 1.7mn b/d — an average monthly level not achieved since December 2008, Argus estimates.

Libyan crude exports have been equally swift to return to the market, with shipments nearly tripling on the month to around 489,000 b/d in October, according to preliminary Argus tracking data. Much of this was crude from storage rather than fresh production.

The long-term sustainability of Libyan supplies remains uncertain, given the country’s fragile infrastructure and the transition in its political landscape. UN-brokered inter-Libyan talks attended by 75 country representatives in Tunis last week have resulted in a decision to hold long-postponed national elections on 24 December 2021, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said.

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