Goldman Sees Libyan Exports Rising

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Goldman Sachs said oil exports from OPEC member Libya, home to Africa's largest oil reserves, could rise to as much as 355,000 barrels per day in the near-term after rebel forces opposing Muammar Qaddafi's regime said they want to resume exports.

Prior to the onset of political violence in the North African country, Libya pumped an average of 1.6 million barrels of crude per day in January. A push for regime change and political violence set in in February and forced Libyan production down to 200,000 barrels in May, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Libyan rebels said they can pump about 100,000 barrels per day from the fields they control. Lost Libyan production has led to calls for OPEC to increase its output to dampen high oil prices, but the 12-country cartel was unable to reach an agreement on higher output at a meeting in Vienna earlier this month.

''Over the short term, the opposition forces could resume about 200,000 barrels a day of crude exports as some fields and their related export terminals are largely intact. A further 155,000 barrels a day could potentially be exported at a later stage from a second loading port under their control,'' Goldman said in a note, Bloomberg reported.

Libyan oil production could surge to 585,000 barrels per day if the Qaddafi regime is toppled, Goldman noted.