Libya to Reach Full Oil Output in Third Quarter of 2012

Libya’s crude output will return to its pre-conflict level in the third quarter of next year after current production reached 1 million barrels a day, the country’s oil minister said.

The North African nation is seeking to raise its production to 2 million barrels a day within three to five years, Abdul- Rahman Ben Yezza said today in Vienna, where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting.

The holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves was able to restore its production at a faster-than-expected pace on an increase in Benghazi-based Arabian Gulf Oil Co.’s output, which is at almost 300,000 barrels a day compared with its normal rate of about 400,000 barrels, Ben Yezza said.

Libya’s refineries are running at about 40 percent of capacity, and the country’s biggest plant at Ras Lanuf is expected to start operations in a month and a half, he said. The nation was pumping 1.59 million barrels of crude a day before a rebellion against then leader Muammar Qaddafi disrupted production and exports.

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