Tripoli, Libya—Libya is aiming to nearly double its oil output to two million barrels per day by 2027, the head of its National Oil Company has said.
“We’re working on raising production to two million barrels per day in the next three to five years,” Farhat Bengdara said in an interview with Sky News Arabia, posted on the NOC’s Facebook page on Tuesday.
Bengdara said the country, which currently produces around 1.2 million bpd, was expecting revenues of “$35-$37 billion” this year.
The North African country, which boasts the biggest proven crude reserves on the continent, has been wracked by years of conflict and division since the 2011 NATO-backed revolt that toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi, periodically shutting down exports and damaging facilities.
“We need around $4 billion in new investment to modernise our infrastructure” including pipelines and storage facilities, Bengdara added.
The NOC chief was taking part in the ADIPEC energy conference in Abu Dhabi, where he also said he expected to sign an $8 billion deal with Italian major ENI by the end of the year to develop gas fields in Libya’s west.
He said that NOC and ENI, along with Britain’s BP, had agreed to start exploring for offshore gas in the Mediterranean off western Libya.
Libya’s Tripoli-based government in October signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey to start undersea gas exploration, in zones of the Mediterranean marked out in a 2019 deal that angered European nations.
Greece and Cyprus, as well as neighbouring Egypt, say that deal violates their own rights over an area believed to hold significant natural gas reserves.
The October deal also angered a rival government based in Libya’s east, which argues that the Tripoli-based administration has no right to sign international agreements as its mandate has expired.