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Libyan oil production in decline

July 3, 2013 at 8:28 AM

MOSCOW, July 3 (UPI) -- Libyan oil production is in decline because of complications associated with labor strikes at major oil fields, a national oil company said.

Libyan oil production has struggled to return to pre-revolution levels of 1.6 million barrels per day. Oil installations in the country have been attacked by militant groups and workers at two oil fields have gone on strike to oppose existing management.

The Libyan National Oil Co. said production was below the 1 million bpd mark because of post-conflict problems, the independent Libya Herald reported.

The decline comes as Libyan Oil Minister Abdulbari al-Arusi met Tuesday with directors of Russian energy companies during his visit to Moscow.

Russian energy company Gazprom in 2010, before the revolution, expressed interest in the Elephant oil field in Libya, which has estimated recoverable reserves of around 700 million barrels of oil.

The Herald reported Arusi met Tuesday with Gazprom directors on the sidelines of Moscow gas forum. Gazprom has not returned to Libya since the revolution.

The International Monetary Fund has warned the Libyan government the economy was vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices as well as security and political challenges.

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