Efforts to restore oil production in Libya are progressing faster than anticipated, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In its latest Oil Market Report, the IEA said restoration of oil production in Libya was on a far faster track than initially anticipated.
However, it said the timing and pace of production increases would hinge on the state of supporting infrastructure, such as pipelines and refineries.
Crude oil supplies rose from an average of 75,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in September to around 350,000 (bopd) in October, and 500,000 (bopd) in early November.
“In the midst of the pandemonium that ultimately led to the formal end to civil unrest in the country on October 23, Libyan officials have made a herculean effort to restore upstream operations,” it said.
As a result, it said it had upgraded its near-term projection, noting that production capacity looks on course to average 500,000 (bopd) in the fourth quarter of 2011, with levels at the end of the year pushing closer to 700,000 (bopd).
Projections for 2012, made in June, were also revised.
Production capacity is now assumed to average: 800,000 (bopd) in the first quarter; 930,000 (bopd) in the second quarter; 1.07million (bopd) in the third quarter; and 1.17million (bopd) in the fourth quarter.
Libya’s production in 2010, before the conflict started, was about 1.6million bopd, said the IEA, and exports were about 1.3million. These levels were not expected to return until 2013, the report added.
It said exports had also progressed more smoothly than expected, as the worst expectations of retribution killings and attacks on oil infrastructure had not happened following the death of Colonel Gaddafi.
“Much of the September output was earmarked to refill storage tanks and supply refineries, which kept a lid on exports, October saw shipments edge higher to an estimated 180,000 (bopd),” the report added.
“Though supplying domestic refineries remains a priority, November exports volumes are expected to be in the 200-250,000 (bopd) range.”