November 7, 2012 / 5:30 PM / 5 years ago

Libya's Waha Oil plans to double output by 2017

* Eyes target of 600,000 bpd within 5 yrs

* Libyan oil output now at pre-war levels

VIENNA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Libya’s Waha Oil, a joint venture with U.S. oil firms, expects to nearly double oil output within five years to 600,000 barrels per day, a company official said on Wednesday.

Waha is a joint venture between Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) and U.S. firms Marathon, Hess Corp and ConocoPhillips.

“We expect to reach almost 600,000 barrels per day by 2017 and this is not considering new discoveries in the area,” said Mohamed Saad Zanati, senior adviser at Waha Oil Company.

The company produces around 325,000 bpd, according to his presentation.

OPEC member Libya has lifted production much faster than analysts had expected after last year’s civil war to a current level of around 1.6 million barrels per day. The NOC is aiming to boost output further to 1.72 million bpd by the end of March 2012 by increasing the yield from existing fields.

Waha also plans to invest heavily in oil exploration and Saad Zanati said a budget of $1.2 billion had been allocated for exploration and drilling up to 2022.

The firm operates several fields including Waha, Dahra and Samah.

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