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NOC chairman sees output gain with hope of BP pumping soon

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – Chairman of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla, stated on Monday that Libya boosted its crude production by a third after restarting its biggest field, El Sharara, and expressed hope for further gains when companies like British Petroleum (BP) invest and start pumping.

“Three weeks ago, production was around 900,000 barrels a day. Now we’re in the range of 1.2 million barrels a day,” Sanalla said, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg. “Unfortunately, we have many oil fields that are outdated and did not undergo any rehabilitation in a long time.”

“We don’t expect to have so much money from the government. That’s why we are focusing on our partners.” He said in  a reference to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Sanalla expressed hope that BP would start production “very soon” in western Libya near the Algerian border. “The situation in that area, the Ghadamis basin, is safe, with no security problems.” The NOC also anticipates investment from European companies Eni SpA, Total SA, Repsol SA and OMV AG, he said.

Many wells at El Sharara were damaged by sabotage after the field was closed in December, Sanalla said. The NOC is developing its own security plan for El Sharara, building protective sand berms and installing surveillance cameras, and its staff are working to boost production at the field to 315,000 barrels day, he said.

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