Shell’s delegation met with Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation earlier this week, and it appears that the corporation will resume operations in the country.
Shell representatives met with Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of the NOC, to discuss the possibility of a return to exploratory work, investment, expertise transfer, human resource development, refinery development, renewable energy projects, and assistance in increasing the country’s oil storage capacity.
In a statement on the NOC’s website after the meeting, the Corporation said: “The meeting discussed the possibility of Shell’s contribution to the development of fields in Libya, as well as increasing its activity in marketing and developing refineries.”
Libya is North Africa’s second-largest oil producer, but a blockade imposed by warring political factions last year hindered crude output and exploration. According to estimates released by the Central Bank of Libya, the eight-month oil export ban, which ended in September, cost the country roughly $11 billion in missed fiscal revenue.
According to OPEC secondary sources, Libyan oil production has subsequently made a remarkable comeback, with output hitting 1.16 million barrels per day in June. In 2020, the country’s output averaged 367,000 bpd, owing in part to constraints imposed due to force majeure.
The country is on the verge of regaining productivity lost during the years of conflict that followed Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011. Production, which had peaked at 1.75 million barrels per day, plummeted by 850,000 bpd in the years after as protests and blockades halted crude oil exports through the country’s main ports.