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Libya targeting 1.45 mil b/d oil output by end of 2021: Sanalla

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Libya targeting 1.45 mil b/d oil output by end of 2021: Sanalla

Highlights

Rise dependent on allocation of budget, improved security

NOC hopes to pump 1.6 million b/d in two years

Risks to Libya's oil supply persist despite new interim govt

London — Libya is looking to increase its crude oil production to 1.45 million b/d by the end of 2021, the chairman of state-owned National Oil Corporation said March 9.

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That level will be contingent on NOC receiving its full annual budget along with improved security at its oil infrastructure, Mustafa Sanalla said.

"In September we were producing 70,000 b/d and today we produce more than 1.30 million b/d," Sanalla said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "Our target is to produce 1.45 million b/d by the end of this year, [which is based] on two barometers 0- the budget and a little [better] security."

The rise will also be caused by the start-up of two oil fields -- one in the Sirte basin and the other in Ghadames Basin, he said.

Political instability along with a lack of finance allocated for maintenance and repairs has made it difficult for NOC to maintain the assets, keeping a lid on output.

A large part of Libya's aging infrastructure has been wrecked by civil war, militant and terrorist attacks, and ensuing general neglect over the past decade.

Libya produced just over 1.20 million b/d of crude and condensate in February, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

Longer term, NOC has the ambition of increasing production to 1.60 million b/d within two years and 2.10 million b/d within 3-4 years, Sanalla said.

Risks persist

Libya formed a Government of National Unity (GNU) along with the help of the UN, with elections planned for December.

The relative stability has come after almost three years of a prolonged civil war between the Government of National Accord and the self-styled Libyan National Army, which resulted in a sharp fall in the country's production last year.

But most analysts still expect many risks to Libya's oil supply due to continued volatility on the ground and threats to terminals.

"While the appointment of an interim government on Feb. 5 was a positive step, we expect bullish disruption risks to oil supply to persist as diplomatic processes are unlikely to shift the military balance of power on the ground or prevent Petroleum Facilities Guards from threatening export blockades as in February," S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a recent note.

Libya has managed to add more than 1 million b/d since September after its two warring factions -- the UN-backed Government of National Accord and the self-styled Libyan National Army -- agreed to a peace deal.

Libya holds Africa's largest proven reserves of oil and its main light sweet Es Sider and Sharara export crudes yield a large proportion of gasoline and middle distillates, making them popular with refineries in Europe and China.