By Wendy Williams
SPANISH oil giant Repsol has re-launched its oil production in war torn Libya after months of shutdown and is now pumping out 30,000 barrels a day.
The death of Muammar Gaddafi has cleared the way for the Spanish company to return to Libya, and although the current output stands at less than 10 per cent of its pre-war figures, it brings Libya’s oil production to half a billion barrels a day and growing.
The interim oil and finance minister, Ali Tarhouni, confirmed production had restarted at El-Sharara field in southern Libya, and that output would gradually be increased over the coming months.
“We are up to 500,000 barrels per day with El Sharara field resuming operation,” he said.
Libya’s oil output was put on hold during the months of fighting to oust Gaddafi and officials have since struggled to re-launch operations to earn much-needed revenues to rebuild the country.
Repsol engineers inspected equipment at El-Sharara field for damage from looting and sabotage and reported it could take many months for output to return to pre-war levels.
Meanwhile Libya’s oil chief has said production stands at about 25 percent of pre-war levels, but could return to 1.6 million bpd in about 15 months.
It comes as Spain has officially pulled its troops out of the war torn country.
Defence Minister, Carme Chacon, announced that about 300 troops would be heading home by the end of this month and that Spain’s participation had been ‘exemplary’.