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Oil production ongoing in Libya, OMV says

The Austrian energy company in February said the situation was steady enough for long-term commitments.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Austrian energy company OMV said production in Libya is ongoing despite the uptick in violence, saying production there is "ongoing." OMV's oil refinery in Schwechat, Austria, is pictured on April 24, 2007. Photo by Robert Jaeger/EPA
Austrian energy company OMV said production in Libya is ongoing despite the uptick in violence, saying production there is "ongoing." OMV's oil refinery in Schwechat, Austria, is pictured on April 24, 2007. Photo by Robert Jaeger/EPA

March 15 (UPI) -- A spokesperson for Austrian energy company OMV said oil production in Libya is ongoing and the opportunity for gains is expected this year.

Libya is one of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exempt from a deal limiting oil production so it can steer its oil revenue toward national security issues. Libya has struggled with security issues at least since the so-called Arab Spring movements and production has been far below historic peaks at about 1 million barrels per day.

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Industry sources reported Libyan production declined 111,000 barrels per day to around 600,000 barrels per day as conflict reignites in the so-called oil crescent. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Tuesday it's seen reports of summary executions and torture in the conflict zones in Libya.

A spokesperson for OMV said in response to emailed questions that it was staying the course in Libya despite renewed unrest.

"OMV production is ongoing, with a planned level of 10,000 barrels per day for the full year 2017," the spokesperson said.

Improvements in the national security situation in Libya earlier this year led the company in February to announce it was able to start production at two of the country's larger oil fields. The company at the time said it's been a "trustful partner" with recognized Libyan oil authorities even during challenging times. Subject to improvements in the security situation, OMV said it could in theory raise its total production in Libya to a maximum of 50,000 barrels per day.

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CEO Rainer Seele said in a statement that his company remains "fully commitment" to investing in Libya in the future.

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