Libyan oil, gas reserves 77 bln barrels, 177 tcf -- minister

Sep 27, 2015 12:00 AM

The Libyan oil and natural gas reserves are at about 77 billion barrels and 177 trillion cubic feet respectively, said Minister of Oil Dr. Naji El-Maghrebi.
In an exclusive interview in the Turkish capital, El-Maghrebi said the current production was at 350,000 to 380,000 barrels per day, adding that Libya was keen on increasing production to one million bpd by 2020.

Regarding production before February 2011, the minister said that it was at 1.6 million barrels, adding that fears created by the turmoil in Libya sharply affected production, bringing it down to record numbers.

However, the production between 2011 and 2012 maintained a reasonable 700,000 per barrel level, said Dr. El-Maghrebi who added that the state controls two major oil fields which produce around 1.2 million barrels.

The uncertainty in the Libyan security situation is the main reason for the production decrease especially with some militias controlling a number of oil fields in the country, said El-Maghrebi, adding that politics also played a role in the current production level.

The Libyan government is working to solve obstacles facing the increase in production, said the minister, stressing any new policy will have justice and equality in spreading wealth as its base.

The minister also touched on the economic situation in his country, noting that oil production was down by 70 percent which in turn made oil revenues go down between 40 to 50 percent.

There is also a decrease in hard currency reserves at the central bank, said El-Maghrebi, noting that 97 percent of the income in Libya came from oil revenues.

The Libyan minister also indicated that his country was looking into measures to diverse national income by introducing alternative energy and small-medium enterprises.
He added that Libya was keen on boosting investments with Arab states as an additional measure to boost economy.

Libya also is working with international organizations such as the UN to fight corruption in the country, said El-Maghrebi.
On the price of oil globally, El-Magrhebi said that flooding the market with oil supplies and shale oil played a role in the decreasing prices, adding that OPEC's decision to keep production at 30 million barrels also led to the current situation.

The Libyan official also touched on the Iranian nuclear deal, saying that it would not majorly affect prices due to Iranian officials setting their budget on the USD 100 quota, saying that it was wise for Iran to keep production at a reasonable level.

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