Libya's Hydrocarbon Wealth

While Libya may have its problems, it has the great fortune to be sitting on a wealth of oil and gas to support its development.

The country is currently producing around 1.6 million barrels a day of oil, and expects to increase this by 30,000-40,000 bpd by early 2013, when repairs to a pipeline in the East of the country are completed.

Nuri Berruein, Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), said his target is to produce 1.8 million bpd by the end of next year, increasing to 2 million bpd by 2015.

Gas production is ramping up too; output is now about two-thirds of pre-crisis volumes, but Berruein expects gas exports to Italy to be restored to former levels by the end of the year.

The Chairman estimated that the 58 discoveries made since 2007 add 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 5.8 Tcf of recoverable gas to the country's reserves; meanwhile exploration continues, both onshore and offshore.

Against a background of political tension, these data should bolster confidence in a changing Libya, and give hope for future prosperity.

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