The chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) has confirmed that Libya’s oil production is set to exceed 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2025, and 2 million by 2027.

Speaking at the tenth regular meeting of the Supreme Council for Energy Affairs held at the NOC’s headquarters on 18 March, Farhat Bengdara explained that financial expenditure on projects would need to continue in order to meet the increased productivity.

The NOC stressed the importance of following up on plans to reach the 2 million bpd target and the role that disclosure and transparency about all expenses and projects implemented will play in this.

At its peak, in 1970, Libya’s oil production was second only to that of Saudi Arabia. While it has dropped significantly since, following the recent lifting of force majeure on several on- and offshore blocks by the NOC, both oil and gas production is starting to accelerate. It reached 1,167 bpd in February, contributing significantly to an oil production increase in the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (OPEC).

Earlier this month, the NOC announced the launch of a bidding round by the end of this year and the beginning of 2025.

The country has also been engaging with international companies far more heavily over the last few months, and this is already starting to bear fruit.

“We have announced seven or eight marginal fields already and have seen big interest from more than 30 companies,” said NOC’s Bengdara. The NOC has 45 greenfield and brownfield projects in the pipeline, to be developed at an approximate cost of $17 – 18 billion.

Gas production is another strategic focus for Libya. A presentation was made at the recent Supreme Council for Energy meeting by the NOC’s technical team, which showed an expected decline in gas production, as well as plans to maintain and increase production within several projects.

The country is currently only using 25% of its green stream pipeline capacity to Italy, and 12 projects are underway to reduce gas flaring to zero. These include plans to reduce gas flaring by 35% at the Bahr Essalam fields.

Libya has the largest reserves in Africa, with 30-40% of the country still unexplored for hydrocarbons. These recent initiatives are to be welcomed, representing opportunities for both national and international energy companies.

“We are very encouraged by the NOC’s understanding of how to meet the country’s oil and gas targets,” said Tarek Eltumi, founding partner at Eltumi Partners. “While Libya has had several productive partnerships with international energy majors for many years, much more collaboration will be needed to meet these ambitious targets and maximise the country’s hydrocarbon potential. As a firm, we are ideally placed to provide commercial legal support to companies looking to explore the burgeoning Libyan hydrocarbon sector.”

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