Libya out $7.5 billion on oil stoppages

Sept. 18, 2013 at 7:51 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Libya has lost more than $7 billion this year because of oil stoppages associated with banditry and strikes, the chairman of the national oil company said.

Before civil war in 2011 Libya produced approximately 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. That production slowed to a trickle because of federalist campaigns in the eastern part of the country and strikes at major export terminals.

Oil production has declined from 1.4 million barrels per day in January to around 250,000 barrels per day, the government said.

National Oil Corp. Chairman Nurri Berruein said Wednesday the incidents have resulted in a loss of approximately $7.5 billion in oil revenue since the beginning of the year, The Libya Herald reports.

Libya relies on oil for approximately 80 percent of its gross national product and 97 percent of its export revenue. Tarek Mitri, U.N. special envoy to Libya, said the country would be in dire financial straits unless it finds a way to resolve its oil crisis quickly.

Berruein told an investment conference in Tripoli oil production was "very low." This is a critical time for Libya's oil sector as it struggles to move from a revolutionary to a viable state, he said.

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