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'Vulnerable' Libya seeks exemption from OPEC crude oil production cuts

Vienna — Libya should receive an exemption from any production cuts OPEC implements, its state-owned National Oil Company said Thursday.

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"Libya supports efforts to stabilize oil markets but there is no precedent for production cuts by a country in Libya's position," NOC said in a statement, just before OPEC met in Vienna to discuss output policy for 2019.

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla is representing Libya at the OPEC talks but did not speak to reporters before the meeting. He has said the country is still recovering from internal unrest and its oil production remains vulnerable to disruptions.

Libya and Nigeria were exempted from the current round of cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year, while Iran was given a cap near its maximum production capacity.

Libya pumped 1.05 million b/d in November, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC production survey, nearly double from the October 2016 production baseline on which the cuts were based.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier Thursday that his "strong preference" was for no exemptions from the cuts to be granted.

"The fair and equitable solution is that everybody cuts the same amount," Falih said. --Staff,

--Edited by Maurice Geller,