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Wintershall gauging how best to return to Libya

March 14, 2014 at 7:44 AM   |   Comments

KASSEL, Germany, March 14 (UPI) -- Martin Bachmann, upstream director at German energy company Wintershall, said a return to Libya depends in part on how well authorities can ensure security.

Production from Wintershall in Libya was suspended in July because of labor strikes at the country's export terminals.

Rainer Seele, board chairman at Wintershall, told investors Thursday it was unclear when things would return to normal in Libya.

"But we do expect to be able to resume onshore production in Libya," he said in a statement.

Libyan lawmakers this week ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan amid frustration with his inability to stop eastern rebels from exporting oil from their territory unilaterally.

Bachmann, the director in charge of exploration and production in Libya, told the Libya Herald the company's return depended on national security.

"The process of the production in Libya now relies on the Libyan authorities providing stability so Wintershall can resume operations," he said in an interview published Friday.

Libya, which recently marked the third anniversary of its revolution that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has struggled to reach its previous production record of 1.6 million barrels of oil per day.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly market report production declined more than 30 percent to 341,000 barrels per day in February because of disruptions at its El Sharara field.

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