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Libya oil output to double by November

Leaked report provides updates on oil production from the all the country's fields; output nearing 370,000 b/d

LIBYA'S oil output continues to rise more quickly than expected and should reach almost 750,000 barrels a day (b/d) by the end of October and more than 1 million b/d by year-end, according to an internal document prepared for National Oil Corporation (NOC). Oil production is now at 365,654 b/d, said the report.

The report, leaked to Petroleum Economist, gives the most detailed and authoritative assessment of Libya’s oil sector since fighting erupted in the country in February, and suggests output is recovering far more quickly than expected.

Production from Sarir and Misla, two oilfields operated by NOC unit Arabian Gulf Oil (Agoco) in Libya’s east, has reached 220,000 b/d, said the report, or about 130,000 b/d less than pre-war capacity.

Agoco plans to restart production at the Sirte basin oilfields of Nafura and Bayda, both south of Brega, within two weeks, said the report’s authors – two Libyan oil executives who are preparing weekly updates on the country’s oil output.

Production from Mellitah Oil and Gas’s (MOG) Abu Attifel field is now at more than 65,650 b/d from 25 wells, the report said. MOG is a joint venture between NOC and Italy’s Eni. MOG is also producing gas equivalent to 15,000 b/d (around 2.5 million cubic metres a day) from its Wafa fields, in Libya’s southwest.

Agoco plans to restart production at the Sirte basin oilfields of Nafura and Bayda, both south of Brega, within two weeks

Wafa’s gas is feeding an electricity plant west of Tripoli, but condensate output from the field has not yet resumed, said the report.

Although MOG’s Feel (Elephant) oilfield has not returned to production, the report’s authors said it could be on stream within two weeks. A report from the Reuters news agency last week claimed the war had left the Feel field “in ruins”. But senior Libya oil sources reacted with bafflement at that report. “Logistical problems” – thought to be damage to an airstrip near the field and some surface facilities – have so far prevented Feel’s restart, but the wells have not been damaged.

Previously, NOC chairman Nuri Berruien told Petroleum Economist that there had been no damage to Libya’s wells and 90% of oil installations were now secure.

Meanwhile, Zueitina Oil, a partnership between NOC and Austria’s OMV, is now producing 20,000 b/d from its Zala and Intsar fields, south of Ajdabiya, said the report.

Mabrouk Oil Operation (MOO) a joint venture between NOC and France’s Total, is producing 35,000 b/d, or about half pre-war capacity, from the offshore Al Jurf field. MOO’s Mabrouk oilfield has not yet started output for "logistical reasons”, said the report. The field lies just 40 km south of Sirte, where the new government’s forces continue an assault to capture the city, which along with Bani Walid remains loyal to ousted dictator Muammar Qadhafi.

Sharara's gas control system and some living quarters had been vandalised, but there had been no subsurface damage

The Amal oilfield, southeast of Ajdabiya, is also back on stream, producing 10,000 b/d. On 8 October, reports also surfaced suggesting foreign workers were returning to the project, which is operated by Harouge Oil Operations, a joint venture between NOC and Canada’s Suncor (formerly Petro-Canada).

Production from Akakus’s prolific Sharara oilfield, in Libya’s southwest, has not resumed, although the report’s authors said it could be on stream within two weeks. That confirmed a previous report from Petroleum Economist, based on interviews with operators in Libya, saying the field, which had pre-war capacity of 400,000 b/d, would soon be on stream.

A separate source told Petroleum Economist that Sharara's gas control system and some living quarters had been vandalised, but there had been no subsurface damage and operators were targeting output of 50,000 b/d as soon as possible. Sharara feeds the Zawiyah oil refinery, west of Tripoli, and also provides exports through a terminal close to the plant.

The refinery is back on stream, but is processing Sarir crude shipped from the Tobruk (Marsa El Hariga) export terminal in Libya’s east. The report said Sharara had been “looted” by the Qadhafi regime and air services to the field had not yet resumed. The field and area around it are also being “audited from a security point of view”.

Production from the Waha complex of fields, in the Sirte basin, has also not resumed. Waha groups US firms ConocoPhillips, Hess and Marathon Oil in a joint venture with NOC. The fields had pre-war capacity of 400,000 b/d.

The report said repair work was under way in the Jalu and Dahra fields and damage assessment was “in progress” at the Waha and Samah fields.

“The main problem in Waha Oil is the extensive damage to their terminal, Sidra,” said the report. Work in the terminal was under way, “especially in the metering area and the tanks farm”.

There are also management problems at Waha, the authors said. “Employees are preventing the management team from having accesses to the company head quarters, and [are] demanding a change of management.” That may hinder efforts to repair the damaged facilities, the report added.

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