The 12 member states of oil producers’ group Opec plan to invest as much as $312bn on increasing crude oil production capacity by 2015, according to Abdullah al-Badri, Opec’s secretary general.

Speaking at a conference in Dubai on 19 September, Al-Badri said the investment will increase Opec’s member country’s gross production capacity by 21 million barrels a day (b/d).

In its world oil outlook from 2010, Opec forecast the group would undertake about 140 projects with an overall estimated cost of $155bn. These projects are in addition to all energy infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, export terminals and downstream expansion schemes. 

These projects will result in net crude oil capacity additions of about 3 million b/d by the end of 2014 as well as more than 2 million b/d of natural gas liquid (NGL) capacity additions.

Opec has also forecast that production from Libya will reach 1 million b/d within the next six months, a more optimistic forecast than the 18 months seen by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

“Watching the news from Libya, I did not see any real damage,” said Al-Badri, a former oil minister and chairman of Libya’s state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC) until 2006.

The challenge in getting Libya production up to 1 million b/d will be replacing “the panels, metres and small instruments that were lost” during the conflict, according to Al-Badri, all of which will have to be manufactured while Libyan production recovers towards pre-war levels (MEED 9:9:11).

A number of producing countries raised output over the last few months to make up for the shutdown of Libyan oil fields since February.

Asked if Opec would require an emergency meeting to discuss reinstating Libyan production into the group when exports resume, Al-Badri said Libya’s sweet and light crude oil is unlikely to have to compete with other Opec producers as it has a ready market.