Libya begins to restore downed oil production


Libya's oil production is finally bouncing back from weeks of paralysis after giant fields in the west of the country restarted, a top oil official said.

The North African nation's oil production has plummeted after strikers blocked fields and terminals in recent weeks, helping to push global oil prices sharply higher.

But speaking to reporters on the sidelines at a Libya investment conference, Mustafa Sanalla, a director with Libya's National Oil Co., said the Sharara and Elephant fields, whose foreign partners are respectively Repsol and Eni had resumed production following an agreement with protesters.

"We hope we will lift force majeuere on Western terminals," he said, adding that production was expected to reach 700,000 bpd. Though that's double Libya's production of 240,000 bpd, the expected amount would still be half the country's normal output.

Mr. Sanalla also said Libya was sticking to its target of producing 2 MMbpd by 2017. Despite being one of Africa's crude oil producers, Libya is still dependent on products imports. But the oil official said Libya has investment plans of $60 billion over six years for its refining and petrochemicals and plans to boost refined products capacity from 380,000 bpd to 1 MMbpd.

Dow Jones Newswires

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