Libyan oil exports could resume in two weeks

Libya’s crude oil exports could resume in 2-3 weeks, with full production coming in a year or so, according to estimates of the country’s rebel government.

Ali Tarhouni, the rebel official in charge of financial and oil matters, said the estimate of Libya’s National Oil Co. is that about 500,000-600,000 b/d can be online in 2-3 weeks.

Tarhouni, who expressed the expectation that the country can ramp up to full production of 1.6 million b/d within a year or so, said damage on most of Libya’s oil fields from the civil war has been minimal.

Tarhouni underlined Libya’s commitment to honor existing contracts with oil companies, and said he knew of no bar on companies from countries that had not supported the rebels.

He said Libya has agreements with most of the major companies, which he referred to as "prerevolution" contracts, and said the rebels would continue them.

It is too early to discuss the award of any new contracts, Tarhouni said, adding that the new government aims to restore things to their former state before the outbreak of civil war in February.

Tarhouni, who will be in charge of the country’s oil and gas sector for the foreseeable future, said plans are underway to ensure that the NOC operates in a “nimble” manner.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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