Nigeria, Libya move to boost oil output in 2018

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Less than two weeks after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s decision to extend oil production cuts, Libya and Nigeria, have indicated their intent to raise output in 2018.


While several ministers at the November 30 meeting of the OPEC suggested the two nations had joined the output-curbing deal, both are working to add to their peak production from 2018.


On Friday, oil company Total said its new Egina field offshore Nigeria was on track to start in 2018, adding 10 per cent to the country’s production.


The field will have a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) and launch in the fourth quarter of 2018, counterbalancing production constrained by aging pipelines, perpetual theft and sabotage.


“That could certainly change the dynamics,” Ehsan Ul-Haq, head of crude and products at a consultancy outfit, Resource Economist, told Reuters.


The Nigerian petroleum ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the Egina field startup, and whether production elsewhere would be curtailed as a result.


On Saturday, the head of Libya’s United Nations-backed government met the head of Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) and the governor of Tripoli’s central bank to discuss how the corporation could get more cash to raise oil output next year.


The NOC received a quarter of its requested budget in 2017, hampering efforts to sustain oil output near one million bpd.


Any additional funds could help make crucial repairs to the country’s energy infrastructure, a regular target for militant attacks, and boost output above the roughly one million bpd mark where it currently stands.


The developments may come as a surprise to market observers, who, after the November 30 meeting, believed Nigeria and Libya had agreed to participate in the OPEC agreement by imposing official caps at their peak 2017 production levels.


Instead, the two countries merely provided their production outlook for 2018 and an assessment that the combined total would not exceed 2.8 million bpd, their forecast output for 2017, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.



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