Russian oil company Tatneft back in Libya

March 29, 2013 at 5:57 AM

MOSCOW, March 29 (UPI) -- The return of staff to Libya means the resumption of significant work that was interrupted by civil war in 2011, Russian oil company Tatneft said.

Tatneft said it was sending staff members back to Libya nearly four months after meeting with representatives from the Libyan National Oil Corp, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The company said it invested more than $250 million in Libya before the country's civil war in 2011. The Russian government said it lost billions of dollars as a result of a U.N.-led intervention in Libya that culminated with leader Moammar Gadhafi's death in late 2011.

Tatneft became the first Russian energy company to enter the Libyan oil market when it secured acreage during an international auction in 2006.

No indication of the resumption of production and exploration activity was given. Libya's oil sector has struggled to maintain a pre-war condition because of internal instability.

A labor strike at the Gialo oil field in Libya left 120,000 barrels of crude oil per day off the market in mid-March. The Mellitah energy complex in western Libya was shut down briefly as a security precaution following clashes between security forces and militants early this month.

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