Libya forecasts full crude exports by end-2012
London, November 15, 2011
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) expects crude exports to rise to 1.345 million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating the Opec member's oil is returning to the international market faster than expected.
The NOC made the forecast in a table entitled "Estimated Daily Production", which was sent to NOC clients and seen by Reuters on Monday.
It comes ahead of negotiations in the next few weeks between the NOC and potential buyers of Libya's 2012 crude oil exports. Competition is expected to be tough as traders vie for Libya's prized light, sweet oil exports, worth a nominal $145 million a day at current oil prices.
The document showed that 813,000 bpd was expected to be available by next month, with the highest output coming from the Sarir and Amna grades. Three oil industry sources confirmed they had received the NOC document.
The NOC has also issued a tender to buy around 8 million tonnes of fuel in 2012, with traders now awaiting the results.
Before the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi began in February, Libya was producing around 1.6 million bpd, of which 1.3 million bpd was exported before fighting caused flows to dry up.
A large portion of current production is going to domestic refineries, which together have the capacity to process nearly a quarter of total output.
The latest data is more conservative than other official Libyan estimates, but these NOC numbers may be more authoritative, given that they were sent directly to clients ahead of key negotiations on 2012 supply contracts.
"I think this is also pretty optimistic," said an oil trader who received the document.
Greater-than-expected Libyan supplies could exert a bearish influence on Brent crude. The front month contract was trading down $1.89 at $112.28 a barrel by 1602 GMT.
The NOC chairman told reporters on Sunday that full pre-war output was possible by the end of 2012, and acting prime minister Ali Tarhouni said last week that supplies would be back to pre-conflict levels by about June 2012. - Reuters