Total: Output in Libya Hardly Fell

03 Sep 2013

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Unrest and conflict in Libya had limited impact on French oil major Total's output in the country, the company's chief executive told reporters at the weekend.

It added the expected production would resume shortly in the country.

"Our production in Libya hardly fell. It went from 64,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 55,000 bpd, it's minor," Christophe de Margerie told reporters on the sidelines of the Medef business lobby's annual conference.

"I think things should resume quite fast because the export terminal will be put back in service quite soon."

De Margerie also said he saw oil prices' rise amid worries of a possible military strike by Western powers against Syria as short term and that these should stabilise at $100 to $110 per barrel in the long-term.

"I think (the surge) is temporary, that it is a reaction of the market which worries because it's a region from where 40 percent of the world's output oil originates...but I think that prices will fall back as fast as they rose," he said.

"Oil prices are stable on the long term, there are well enough supplies to meet demand," he added.

In a related development Libya is seeking a peaceful way to end oil strikes that have crippled its crude exports but will take alternative action if needed, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said.

"We will take other measures if these peaceful measures do not succeed," he told a news conference, without elaborating.

Libya's oil production has fallen to about a sixth of its pre-2011 civil war levels due to a month-long disruption by armed security guards who shut the country's main export ports.

Zeidan said he had talked to tribal leaders in the east, the focus of oil sector disruption, and they rejected calls for partition of the country.

"They respect the legality and unity of the nation," he said.

Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi has blamed mainly non-oil workers and agitators pushing for federalism in Libya for the strikes, which he said had cost the country $2 billion in lost revenues so far.

"These groups announced federalism and they don't recognise the government nor the general national council," the minister said.

The oil ports of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Zueitina and Marsa al Hariga, which are in the east where most of the country's oil production lies, remained closed.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, Total, Libya

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