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Libya Says Oil Companies Committed Amid Security Concerns

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Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Security issues aren’t deterring oil companies from working in Libya as the nation restores production at two fields, National Oil Corp. Chairman Nuri Berruien said.

Output is poised to rise from its current level of about 200,000 to 240,000 barrels a day with the restart of the El Feel, or Elephant, and Sharara fields, he said today in an interview in Tripoli. The two deposits will add a combined 400,000 barrels a day to national production when their output is fully restored, Berruien said. Exports from Libya, which produced 1.6 million a year ago, have been crippled by labor disputes at the country’s oil terminals.

Brega, the country’s only terminal in operation, was joined today by the Zawiya and Mellitah facilities, he said. Es Sider, the country’s largest oil port, remains closed.

“The oil and gas sector will overcome all these emergency circumstances and go back to its previous situation,” Berruien said. Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, will restore its output and exports “in a short time,” the NOC chairman told a conference in the capital city.

There’s no risk that Libya will lose market share as a result of the disruptions, Berruein said.

Fully Committed

No foreign oil companies are pulling out as a result of security concerns, he said. The rights of international companies operating in the country are guaranteed, and Libya expects to hold a bidding round for oil-exploration rights in 2014, he said. Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Repsol SA, Total SA and OAO Gazprom are among some 30 companies that won licenses from 2005 to 2007.

Austria-based OMV AG Vice-President for Exploration Peter Krois told the Tripoli conference the company “is fully committed to Libya.”

Medco Energi Internasional is now exploring onshore, while Total and BP are expected to carry out exploration activity next year, NOC exploration manager Bashir Garea said today in an interview.

Global oil prices are “convenient” at current levels, Berruein said. North Sea benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $107.76 a barrel as of 5:05 p.m. London time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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