Outlook grim for Libyan oil production

Aug. 16, 2011 at 7:09 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- It's unlikely that Libyan oil production will return to pre-war levels until at least three years after the fighting ends, a Scottish energy consultant said.

International forces moved to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya in March and the military engagement has dragged on with few signs of progress for most of the summer.

Energy group Wood Mackenzie in a research note said it's unlikely oil production from Libya will increase from 100,000 barrels per day to pre-war levels of 1.6 million bpd any time soon, the Platts news service reports.

It would take at least three years for production to return to normal though that scenario depends on the level of war damage to the country's energy infrastructure.

Lifting sanctions on Libya and the return of international oil companies would also play a role in determining when oil production would regain its momentum, the analysis adds.

It could be "many more years" before production returns to normal, however, if the conflict in Libya continues to drag on, the consultancy group warns.

The International Energy Agency in June called on its member states to release oil from strategic reserves to offset declines in Libya oil production.

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