Unrest in Libya slashes oil output by 1.4 million barrels: Total

Agencies Paris | Updated on March 11, 2011

Unrest in Libya has almost wiped out the production in its key oil sector, slashing output by 1.4 million barrels a day to under 300,000, the head of French oil giant Total said today.

“Oil production in Libya must have fallen to between 200,000 and 300,000 barrels a day maximum,” the chief executive of Total, Mr Christophe de Margerie, told reporters in Paris.

“There are about 1.4 million barrels a day less” than normal, since the start of an uprising against Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi which has led to heavy fighting between his forces and rebels.

Libya was producing 1.69 barrels per day before the unrest, according to the International Energy Agency. Of this 1.2 million were exported, mostly to Europe.

“There is no problem of supply to the market,” said Mr Margerie however. “We have stocks so there is no risk of a shortage.”

He said that Total, one of the biggest oil companies in the world, had shut down its production at two Libyan oilfields, the offshore Al Jurf and onshore Mabruk sites, where it shares production with other companies.

Figures on the group’s website show that its Libyan operations account for 2.3 per cent of its total production, about 55,000 barrels a day.

Published on March 11, 2011

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