Oil production at Libya’s Gallo field will drop by as much as 70,000 b/d after an oil pipeline leak that occurred late Aug. 9, the state-owned National Oil Corp. said Aug. 10, as the OPEC member’s poor energy infrastructure continues to hamper its production plans.

Repair work will be conducted on Aug. 10 to fix the pipeline linking Gallo to the al-Waha field, NOC said in a statement.

Libya’s crude production has been averaging 1.15 million-1.20 million b/d in the past two months, according to the S&P Global Platts monthly OPEC+ survey.

Platts Analytics is forecasting Libya’s oil output will hover around 1.1 million b/d in the second half of 2021, but risks are skewed to the downside on technical challenges, sporadic blockade threats, and the potential for the Dec. 24 presidential and parliamentary elections to trigger another flare-up in civil war.

NOC has been hoping to pump as much as 1.45 million b/d by the end of 2021, but it is facing persistent technical and maintenance issues.

Africa’s largest reserves

A lack of finance allocated for maintenance and repairs caused by political instability has made it difficult for NOC to maintain the assets, keeping a lid on output.

On July 26, a well erupted at one of the three oil fields operated by the Zueitina Oil Co., an NOC subsidiary.

A large part of Libya’s infrastructure was wrecked by civil war, militant and terrorist attacks, and ensuing general neglect over the past decade.

Libya holds Africa ‘s largest proven reserves of oil and its main light sweet Sharara and Es Sider export crudes have a high yield of middle distillates and gasoline, making it popular with refineries in Europe and China.