Photo: Illustration; Source: Total

Total discusses oilfield investment expansion in Libya

French oil major Total has discussed increasing energy investment in Libya where oil output has surged in the past two months following a truce in the country’s civil war.

The NOC said Thursday that it held a virtual meeting with Total and discussed efforts to increase Libyan production capacity and output.

Daily output in the country has already recovered to 1.25 million barrels – close to the 1.6 million barrels Libya was producing before the fall of Muammar Gaddafi almost a decade ago.

The country was producing less than 100,000 barrels a day in early September which was above what anyone expected since production hit a near-total halt in January due to conflicts between rival military forces.

NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said: “The NOC and its companies, even during the shutdown, have not and will not stop working hard. This explains the rapid return to previous production rates”.

Total has been active in Libya for decades and holds shares in key oil fields, including the nation’s biggest – Sharara – and the offshore Al-Jurf field. The Total also has a share in the Mabruk field, which has been closed for years due to political issues.

Total Libya

The Al-Jurf field is a wellhead platform, which produces to an anchored FPSO located 3 kilometres away in a water depth of approximately ninety metres offshore Libya.

The most recent conflict which hit the energy industry hard occurred in January when Khalifa Haftar, a commander based in eastern Libya, made a blockade of ports and fields in January. Haftar lifted the blockade after a truce was agreed in September.

Worth noting, the NOC began lifting force majeure on facilities and oilfields closed by the blockade following the truce. The final force majeure was lifted on 26 October.

In what could be a big step toward stabilizing Libyan oil output and exports, Sanalla travelled to the eastern port of Brega this week to meet with the two main warring factions and discuss unifying the Petroleum Facilities Guard.

The Guard was formed as a neutral force to defend oil ports and fields, but its members contributed to a crash in output in recent years by blockading installations on behalf of various groups and to press their own demands.