Lost oil production at the hands of political unrest in Libya, home to Africa's largest oil reserves, can be made up for by other OPEC members and oil-producing countries that are not members of the cartel, Qatari Oil Minister Mohammed Saleh Al Sada said, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
Al Sada said OPEC believes there is no shortage of supply. The comments come on the heels of speculation that escalating tensions in Libya have led to 1 million barrels a day in lost production. Libya, Africa's third-largest oil producer behind Angola and Nigeria, was pumping 1.6 million barrels a day before political tensions started.
Barclays has estimated that 1 million barrels a day in Libyan production has been lost while Goldman Sachs puts the number at 500,000 barrels per day. Officials from Saudi Arabia said last week that there was no reason for oil prices to rise because the cartel would not allow supply shortages to exist, according to Bloomberg. Oil prices rose 14% last week to touch their highest levels since 2008.
The International Energy Administration said about 850,000 barrels per day in Libyan production have been lost. Nearly every major Western oil company operating in the North African nation has suspended some or all of their activities in the country.