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Oil Toil
Libya’s Oil Surge Lasts Just One Week

Well that didn’t last long. Last week we noted that Libyan oil production jumped 160,000 barrels per day after its biggest oil field reopened. That resurgence was short-lived after that field was shut down again this week, and Libya’s oil output fell 30 percent to a six month low. Bloomberg reports:

The North African nation’s output dropped to 490,000 barrels a day from 703,000 a day after the Sharara field shut, a person familiar with the situation said, asking not to be identified because of a lack of authorization to speak to media. Sharara pumped about 213,000 barrels a day before halting on April 9, the person said. The country is currently producing at its lowest level in more than six months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The pipeline that transports crude from Sharara in western Libya to the Zawiya refinery also stopped operating on April 9. The National Oil Corp. declared force majeure the same day on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya terminal, according to a copy of the NOC’s decree obtained by Bloomberg.

Moscow won’t be happy at this latest delay, as the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft has recently gotten into business with Libya’s National Oil Corp. (NOC). The fact that NOC is still having this much trouble getting production up and running again will be concerning to the Kremlin, which has been making significant energy investments around the world in recent months.

OPEC’s other members, however, won’t mind seeing Libya continue to struggle to regain its 1.6 million barrel per day production capacity (last seen in 2011, before the NATO intervention and toppling of the Qaddafi regime). After all, the name of the game for petrostates these days is reducing output in order to erase a global glut and hopefully nudge prices upward.

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  • Suzy Dixon

    Prior to Obama/Clinton regime change, Libya had a national budget surplus of 8.7% of GDP in 2010, with oil production at 1.8 million barrels per day, on track to reach its goal of 3 million barrels per day. Currently, oil production has decreased by over 80 percent. Following the regime change, the Libyan economy contracted by an estimated 41.8% , with a national deficit of 17.1% GDP in 2011.

    Libya was a secure, prospering, secular Islamic country and a critical ally providing intelligence on terrorist activity post–9/11. Qaddafi was no longer a threat to the United States

    • Isaiah601

      Barack Hussein Obama, everybody!!!!

      • Andrew Allison

        Thank goodness for regime change [/grin]

      • D4x

        Yes, but, at the time, it was Sarkozy who led NATO into the R2P concept that had been codifed as International Law by the UN. At the time, Italy was being swamped with boat people from the shores of Tripoli, so to speak. The other story was how many heads of states personally asked O44 to take out Qaddafi. Iran and Lebanon never forgave Qaddafi for disappearing Musa al-Sadr in 1978.

        Later, in Jeffrey Goldberg’s 2016 interview in The Atlantic, when O44 said ‘lead from behind’, he was describing how France (without the details I note here) invoked NATO, had already ordered the launch of fighter jets, but only the USA had the military support hardware/capabilities within NATO, e.g. aerial refueling, for France’s airstrikes to happen. As I read the interview, I thought it a way for O44 to demonstrate that USA does not always have to be the “Leader of the Free World”, in a multi-polar world with USA a debtor nation.

        At the time in 2011, France had had impressive successes with targeted military intervention in former French colonies, especially Cote D’Ivoire – I paid attention to that because half global cocoa production was at risk. By 2011, the R2P consensus & UN codification emboldened Sarkozy/ & NATO.

        Apologies, too much information.
        Now we know why Qaddafi was rolling into Benghazi, to do a “Hama-Grozny-Aleppo” to the radical Islamists.

    • ——————————

      America thinks everybody wants/can be like us. Countries need to be left to their own devices to sort out their own issues from inside. They created their own problems, so they must fix their own at their own pace.

      We need to stop caring about human rights issues in other countries (but we won’t). It is not our place to fix the world (and we can’t)…..

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