Libyan oil production collapsing

Sept. 5, 2013 at 6:40 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The Libyan government said strikes at its oil fields and export terminals were pushing production levels back toward lows witnessed during the civil war.

The International Energy Agency called on its member states to release oil from strategic reserves when Libyan oil production collapsed during the height of the fighting in 2011.

Since the war, Libya has struggled to return to its nominal production capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day. An energy committee in the General National Congress said oil production was grinding to a halt because of strikes, the Libya Herald reports.

Output has fallen from 1.4 million barrels per day in January to around 250,000 barrels per day, the government said.

Committee member Fawzia Karawan told the Herald the government lost about $3 billion in oil revenue because of strikes and terminal closures.

"The biggest damage resulting from the closure of oil facilities is the reduction in the production of oil and gas, which has caused a deficit in the general budget of the Libyan state," she said Tuesday.

Libya holds the largest oil reserves in the region, with about 76.4 billion barrels of proven reserves.

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