Libyan oil production in dire straits

Aug. 13, 2013 at 8:31 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Demonstrations against oil installations in parts of Libya have forced oil production to drop to less than pre-civil war levels, companies working there said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its August monthly report all but one of the oil export terminals in Libya are closed "due to unrest." This makes the Mediterranean market tight because of the absence of "at least" 500,000 barrels of oil per day.

Libya has struggled to return to the 1.6 million bpd average reported before civil war in 2011. The Libya Herald reports July was disastrous for Libya where oil production fell to less than 400,000 bpd because of strikes at export terminals.

It says oil companies working in the country, like Germany's Wintershall and Italian energy company Eni, are not confident about the situation, saying they expect disruptions to continue.

The Herald reported Monday there are few problems at oil fields themselves. It reports the situation at export terminals is not just a labor issue, but about "autonomous control over energy production in the east of Libya."

OPEC said the decline in Libyan oil production was part of the reason oil prices have stayed about the $100 per barrel mark.

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