11 Sep 2011

Libyan oil production to resume soon - NTC

9:16 am on 11 September 2011

The National Transitional Council in Libya said on Saturday that oil production will resume in three to four days and that output will reach pre-war levels within a year.

Oil production has been at a virtual standstill for months because of the war against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Interim oil and finance minister Ali Tarhouni said the Sarir and Mesla (oilfields) would start on Tuesday or Wednesday.

''We also will produce gas and oil, not simultaneously, from Sharara and Wafa. We are looking at a difference of days," he told reporters at the Brega export terminal.

Mr Tarhouni estimated that the damage only affects 10% -15% of oil infrastructure in Libya is damaged.

The eastern fields of Sarir and Mesla have been in territory controlled by the interim government for months. The Sharara and Wafa fields are located in the west.

Before the war, Libya pumped 1.6 million barrels per day.

The NTC is keen to restart the fields quickly to halt surging fuel import costs and to earn revenue.