Libya delays raising oil capacity to 2017

CAIRO - Libya has delayed plans to raise its oil output capacity until 2017 because of tight budgets and market conditions, Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem said at the weekend.

CAIRO - Libya has delayed plans to raise its oil output capacity until 2017 because of tight budgets and market conditions, Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem said at the weekend.

They have delayed the plan to reach three million barrels per day from 2012 to 2017, Ghanem said in Cairo.

Libya's production capacity is "almost two million barrels per day (bpd)" and it is producing its Opec quota of 1,5million bpd, said Ghanem .

He also confirmed reports last week from Tripoli that US petro company Hess had found new gas deposits in the Gulf of Sirte, where it operates in collaboration with Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC).

Daily production is estimated to be about 765000 cubic metres and reserves are estimated at about 142 to 170billion cubic metres, said Ghanem.

The New York-based Hess owns 12,4percent of the project and the NOC controls the rest, Ghanem said.

NOC and Hess reported that the gas was good quality.

Libya is Africa's third-largest oil producer after Nigeria and Angola and has estimated reserves of 42billion barrels.

It also seeks to develop its natural gas production, with proven reserves estimated at 1,5billion cubic metres, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Libyan natural gas exports have nearly doubled from 5,4billion cubic metres in 2005 to 10billion cubic metres per year. - Sapa-AFP

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