Amid the most enduring global oil glut in decades, Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC crude producers whose supplies have been crushed by domestic conflicts, are preparing to add hundreds of thousands of barrels to world markets within weeks.
Libya’s state oil company on Wednesday lifted curbs on crude sales from some ports, potentially unlocking 300,000 barrels a day of supply.
In Nigeria meanwhile, Exxon Mobil said they are ready to resume shipments of Qua Iboe crude, the country’s biggest export grade, which averaged about 340,000 barrels a day in shipments last year, according to Bloomberg estimates.
The company has filled storage facilities at its Qua Iboe export terminal in Nigeria and is awaiting government clearance to resume shipments.
Also, a second Nigerian grade operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc is scheduled to restart about 200,000 barrels a day of flow within days.
While there are reasons to be cautious about whether the barrels will actually flow as anticipated, a resumption of those supplies — more than 800,000 barrels a day in all — could more than triple the global surplus that has kept prices at less than half their levels in 2014.
It would also come just as members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia are set to meet in Algiers later this month to discuss a possible output freeze to steady world oil markets.
Militant groups have repeatedly attacked oil infrastructure this year, making any resumption of flow reliant on pipeline and export terminals being secure from further incidents.
Although a ceasefire has been agreed by Niger Delta Avengers, the Nigerian government is still wary of attacks from other militant groups.