Libya’s crude exports rose to a new three-year high in July. Showing an 11% increase from June, Libya exported approximately 865,000 barrels of crude oil a day in July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Libya’s increased production comes in the face of a renewed push by OPEC members and their allied oil-producing countries to reduce global production of crude oil in an effort to raise global prices.
Neither Libya nor Nigeria were bound by the previous agreement by OPEC and major non-OPEC, oil-producing nations to curtail production because of the internal conflicts that they were both facing. Now both countries are increasing their production even as other oil producers cut production to lower the excess world supply of crude oil.
Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG, noted that Libya’s increased output “hurts OPEC’s efforts to re-balance the oil market.”
Libya’s increased production also hampers efforts to convince oil-exporting nations to comply with their previous production-cut commitments.
Output from OPEC members rose to 32.87 million b/d, an increase of 210,000 b/d (0.6%), during the month of July, according to Bloomberg’s calculations. Libya’s increased production provided the largest percentage of that increase.
Torbjorn Kjus, chief oil analyst at DNB Bank ASA, indicated that Libya’s higher production rates may not last. Alluding to the continued instability in the country, he noted that “[i]t would be a surprise if they could keep production stable.”
Crude-oil prices have yet to recover from the 2014 slump despite the early 2017 agreement by OPEC and other large oil-producing nations to cut production by approximately 1.8 million b/d.