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Libya's oil production short of 300,000 barrels per day due to debt

Libya's National Oil Company in the northern town of Ras Lanuf, on 3 June 2020 [AFP via Getty Images]
Libya's National Oil Company in the northern town of Ras Lanuf, on 3 June 2020 [AFP via Getty Images]

The National Oil Corporation in Libya (NOC) announced on Thursday that the country's crude oil production would decrease to one million barrels per day, compared to 1.3 million a few days ago, due to the accumulation of debts of companies operating in the sector.

Chairman of the National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanalla told officials in the Libyan crude oil sector during Thursday's meeting that production is likely to further decline in the coming days due to debts and the inability of companies to continue production, according to a statement issued by the NOC.

The debt crisis of local oil companies operating in the country and their inability to continue production come from the failure to approve the necessary budgets for the country's public institutions.

Sanalla stated: "We have capabilities that enable us to raise the level of daily oil production to a level of more than two million barrels per day in the near future, but the failure to approve the necessary budgets for the sector has prevented us from achieving this goal."

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He added: "The problem has escalated to the point that some companies have been forced to stop production due to the lack of spare parts and necessary equipment, in addition to inadequate health and supply services and low wages for workers in the sector."

Sanalla called on the Libyan Oil and Gas Ministry to: "Help us get the necessary budgets, and I say that if all the capacities are not consecrated to the oil sector, the situation will deteriorate further, unfortunately."

According to OPEC's monthly report released last week, Libya, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), recorded an average daily production of 1.28 million barrels per day last March.

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