TRIPOLI, Libya, April 18 (UPI) -- Libya's oil sector may be able to make up for losses incurred by a rebel blockade as soon as production and export levels return to normal, a spokesman said.
The central government in Tripoli brokered a deal April 6 with eastern rebel leaders to re-open export terminals. An eight-month blockade from rebels seeking more autonomy for the region known as Cyrenaica cut Libya's oil export potential drastically.
Mohamed al-Harari, a spokesman for Libya's state-run National Oil Corp., told pan-Arab daily news agency Asharq al-Awsat the ports of Ras Lanuf and Sidra could open next month following further talks with rebel leaders.
"Talks must resume to open the remaining ports," he said in an interview published Thursday. "We have suffered great losses from this [crisis], but we will be able to make up these losses once production and export levels are back to normal."
The re-opened ports, Zuetina and Harega, account for about 200,000 barrels per day worth of exports. Combined, Ras Lanuf and Sidra have 1 million bpd worth of capacity.
Libya before civil war erupted in 2011 was exporting more than 1.4 million bpd. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said member state Libya produced less than 300,000 bpd in March, the last full month for which data are available.