GREATER NOIDA, India, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Libyan oil production has increased by more than 10 percent since the beginning of the year, the Libyan oil minister said at an energy conference in India.
Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said the restart of the Sharara oil field in the west of the country was contributing to the production gains.
Libya's state-owned National Oil Corp. said last week production was about 546,000 barrels per day. With Sharara back in production, al-Arusi said production had surpassed the 600,000 bpd mark, the Platts energy news service reported Monday.
Operations at Sharara were shuttered in October by regional protesters calling for more local authority. The field, which returned to service last week, has the capacity to produce 350,000 bpd.
Libya has struggled to return to its pre-civil war level of 1.6 million bpd because of national security issues.
The International Energy Agency in 2012 called on its member states to tap into their strategic reserves to compensate for supply disruptions from Libya. Production increases from North America have provided the global oil market with a buffer against Libyan supply issues.