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Eni, Total, return to Libya

Sept. 26, 2011 at 3:54 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Two European firms said they were returning to Libya to pump oil for the first time since retreating due to the country's civil unrest.

An uprising that began in February culminated in the ouster of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who is presumed to have fled the country in late August.

Italian oil company Eni said it had resumed work at some of its oil wells in Libya, The New York Times reported.

The French firm Total said it, too, had resumed pumping Libyan oil, but so far only at an offshore oil platform.

Eni said in a statement 15 oil wells were back in production and the firm is currently producing 31,900 barrels of Libyan oil per day.

Most of Libya's oil gets shipped to Europe. It produces about 2 percent of the world's daily oil supply, but its quality is of such a high grade that it has disproportional value on the oil market.

During the uprising in Libya, Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, increased its production to help stabilize prices. At this point, it is expected Saudi Arabia will gradually drop production down to previous levels.

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