VIENNA: Libya hopes to reopen all its oil ports on Dec. 10 and resume full production about a week later after the Libyan army threatened to use force against armed protesters. Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said he was “optimistic” that pressure on protesters to allow the resumption of production would see Libyan oil output restored to 1.5 million barrels per day. “We have heard good news from the local people that they are going to attend to the situation,” Arusi said. “We don’t have any guarantees.”
A mix of militias, tribesmen and political minorities demanding a greater share of Libya’s oil wealth and more political power have shut most oilfields and ports, cutting oil output from 1.4 million bpd five months ago.
Asked how soon after Dec. 10 Libya could get production back to normal, the minister said: “From one week to 10 days.”
Oil traders and analysts greeted the comments with some scepticism, saying restoration of oil production and exports after a lengthy disruption often took months to complete.
“This looks wildly optimistic,” VTB Capital oil strategist Andrey Kryuchenkov said.
“I can’t see Libya reopening all the ports quickly, and then it would take much longer to get back up to 1.5 million bpd full output.”