Libya has started to produce oil again three weeks after Muammar Gaddafi was expelled from the Tripoli, according to the interim prime minister on 12 September.
“We started producing oil yesterday,” says Mahmoud Jibril at a press conference held in the capital.
Jibril did not specify where production was being resumed, or how much crude is being pumped, but did say further increases were expected in the near future.
Libya’s produced 1.6m barrels a day (b/d) before the six-month civil war between Gaddafi loyalists and the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) put a stop to production. During the conflict, oil wells and refining facilities were attacked. There is still no clarity at the extent of the damage, in spite of foreign oil companies with Libyan oil concessions having send technical teams back into the country.
Interim oil and gas minister Ali Tarhouni has estimated that only 10 to 15 per cent of oil and gas installations have been affected.
Full production will be restored within a year, Tarhouni says. The operations will resume at the Sarir and Mesla this week, he continued, while production at the Sharara and Wafa field will restart shortly afterwards.