Despite being on the brink of collapse, Libya is slowly returning to oil production
Libya may be on the brink of chaos but it is gradually boosting output in the vital oil sector after a crisis blocked export terminals for a year, sector executives say. "The country's production is rising constantly and should return to its level prior to this year if the situation stabilises in the various oilfields," interim Oil Minister Omar Al Shakmak said. Mohammed Hrari, spokesman for Libya's National Oil Corporation, said: "Production on Monday reached 550,000 barrels, up from around 400,000 barrels a day previously." In a statement to AFP, Hrari forecast "a production level of one million barrels a day [bpd] in September, with an increase in production in the Sharara and Al Fil [southwest] fields and a resumption of production in other fields in the east, west and south of the country". A first export cargo of 690,000 barrels of crude left Ras Lanuf, 700 kilometres east of Tripoli, last week bound for Italy, Hrari indicated. Another cargo should leave Al Sedra terminal "probably next week”, he said. Libya's return to the market has hit oil prices, which slumped to a four-month low in London on Monday before recovering in Asian trade on Tuesday.