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Libya Oil Chief Says Crude Production ‘Could Reach a Halt’ Due to Conflict

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March 20, 2011

Libya’s oil production fell to less than 400,000 barrels a day after foreign companies pulled out their staff, the chairman of the country’s state-run National Oil Corp., Shokri Ghanem, said in a televised media conference from Tripoli.

Ghanem said the North African country had no intention of breaking commitments with foreign companies and called on them to send their employees back to resume work. Libya may otherwise award new oil and gas concessions directly to companies in countries such as China, India and Brazil in order to raise production, which “could reach a halt,” he said.

Within hours of Ghanem’s remarks, war planes and naval vessels from the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Italy began bombing Libyan air defenses and other military targets to enforce a United Nations-authorized no-fly zone. Earlier today, dictator Muammar Qaddafi abandoned a cease-fire he announced yesterday and ordered an attack on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

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This article was posted: Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 5:56 am

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