Oil production restarts in Libya

Reuters, Monday 12 Sep 2011

Libya's oil production is expected to resume in "near future", with the National Transitional Council forming a new, more inclusive transitional government in the coming week or so

Libyan oil
Libyan oil worker is seen at a refinery inside the Brega oil complex, in Brega (Photo: AP)

Libya has started producing oil again, the country's interim prime minister said on Sunday, promising that more of it would come online in the "near future".

"We started producing oil yesterday," Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in Tripoli. He declined to say where or how much.

Libya holds Africa's largest crude oil reserves and sold about 85 percent of its exports to Europe before the uprising which toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

Jibril said oil production, which dried up during the six-month civil war as security deteriorated, would restart in the west of the country soon.

Libya’s interim Minister of Oil and Finance, Ali Tarhouni,  told reuters Saturday he expects the country to resume gradual oil production within four days; however, he stated it would take up to a year to return to pre-war levels.

Western oil companies including Italy's Eni and Austria's OMV are eager to get their production back online after the war cut off supplies.

In a sign the National Transitional Council is also trying to soothe fledgling regional rivalries, Jibril said Libya would form a new, more inclusive, interim government within the next seven to 10 days.

"The new transitional government will be formed from members from all regions of Libya including those that are under siege and have not yet been liberated," he said.

"Consultations will continue to take place in the upcoming days and within a week or ten days a new transitional government will be formed." 

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