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Libyan oil output has yet to recover

Before civil war, the country was producing more than 1 million barrels of oil per day.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 16, 2016 at 6:06 AM
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LONDON, March 16 (UPI) -- A survey of oil production from Libya shows the country remains far below its peak capacity levels posted more than five years ago, before the Arab Spring.

Energy reporting service Platts reports Libyan oil production in February moved lower by 10,000 barrels per day to 360,000 bpd. The drop follows a deal brokered in December by the United Nations and rival governments that led to the January seating of a unity administration.

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Platts, in an emailed report, said Libya's oil infrastructure remains vulnerable to attacks by militants affiliated with the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State.

Libya's political environment fractured in the wake of civil war in 2011, with factions establishing authority from opposite sides of the country. Italian energy company Eni hosted Libyan delegates in Rome to discuss production opportunities less than a week after the signing of Libyan political unity agreements.

Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi said the Tripoli-based Libyan National Oil Co. had success in navigating the country through a "very difficult period."

A joint statement from France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States last week welcomed unity declarations signed in Tunisia, noting all parties need to focus their efforts on governing a country exhausted by years of civil conflict.

"Political unity and an inclusive and functioning government is the only way to put an end to the instability that has fueled the development of terrorism in Libya," the statement read.

Before civil war erupted, Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was producing more than 1 million bpd. Libya last communicated directly with OPEC in 2014 to report crude oil production of around 480,000 bpd.

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