Figures released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for March show that Libya has become the top oil producing country in Africa.

Libya recorded 1.24 million bpd in March, up from 1.17 million bpd in February, according to the April 2024 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR).

These figures put the country on track for predictions made by the National Oil Corporation (NOC) earlier in March that oil production is set to exceed 1.5 million bpd by the end of 2025 and 2 million bpd by 2027.

Libya is now ahead of Nigeria as the leading oil producer in Africa, which recorded an output of 1.23 million bpd in March, down from 1.32 million bpd in February, a decrease of 6.8%.

Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa, with 30-40% of the country still unexplored for hydrocarbons.

Output has been bolstered by the NOC’s promised launch of an oil and gas bidding round by the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025, as well as the resumption of production at the El Sharara oilfield in 2023.

The country has also been engaging with a number of international companies, including most recently Polish oil and gas company (PGNiG), which confirmed that it has lifted a force majeure and will be resuming exploration in April.

Speaking in February, NOC chairman, Farhat Bengdara noted that the NOC had ambitious plans to return Libya ‘to the ranks of the energy-producing countries of the world’.

Also in April, the NOC announced a new discovery at the Alihib field located in Brega, which is understood to be producing 626 bpd of oil, as well as 16.8 cubic feet of natural gas. The NOC noted that this discovery is in line with its strategic plans and budgetary allocation aimed at increasing hydrocarbon production in Libya.

At the end of March an announcement was made by the NOC that the Mellitah Oil and Gas Company was able to re-drill a fifth well in the El Feel Field, resulting in a production capacity of around 3,820 bpd.

“These latest developments are very encouraging to see,” noted Tarek Eltumi, founding partner of Eltumi Partners. “As a firm we are ideally placed to provide commercial legal support to companies looking to explore opportunities in Libya’s growing hydrocarbon sector.”

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