Libya's NTC expects to restart Misla, Sarir oil fields soon

Russia invites NTC to Moscow to discuss energy contracts; EU lifts sanctions as leaders discuss assisting in rebuilding Libya.

By REUTERS
September 3, 2011 15:34
2 minute read.
Libyan rebels celebrate.

Libyan rebels 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori)

 
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Libya's National Transitional Council expects to restart oil production at the Misla and Sarir oil fields in around 10 days time, the North African country's new oil minister Ali Tarhouni said on Saturday.

When asked when Libya's oil production would restart, Tarhouni told a news conference: "I was told yesterday by the NOC that production will begin in the Sarir and Misla fields on the 12th or 13th of this month."

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Russia has invited members of Libya's interim government to Moscow to discuss the future of Russian energy contracts in the country stricken by six-months of civil war, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

"We will discuss all of this," Lavrov told reporters after being asked about the fate of Russian oil contracts agreed with Libya's deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi. "They (Libya's interim government) offered to hold contacts, and we have invited their respective representatives to Moscow, at their request."

"We will discuss all this with them."

Russia's top oil and gas producers Gazprom , Gazprom Neft and Tatneft had invested hundreds of millions of dollars exploration in Libya before suspending operations when an uprising broke out earlier this year against Gaddafi's rule.

Aram Shegunts, director general of the Russia-Libya Business Council, told Reuters in August that Russian energy firms are likely to be barred from resuming work in Libya after NATO-backed rebels ousted Gaddaffi who has been in power since 1969.

Russia recognized Libya's ruling interim council this month.




On Friday
the European Union lifted sanctions on Libyan ports, oil firms and banks on Friday as foreign ministers met to discuss how to help the country's transition from four decades of Muammar Gaddafi's rule.

The EU's Official Journal listed 28 Libyan entities freed from restrictions, including the ports of Tripoli, Al Khoms, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiyah and Zuara.

Also listed were Libyan Arab Airlines and energy firms including the Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Co. and the Sirte and Waha oil companies. Banks listed were the National Commercial Bank, Gumhouria Bank, Sahara Bank and First Gulf Libyan Bank.

The formal lifting of the sanctions came a day after world powers meeting in Paris freed up billions of dollars to help Libya's new rulers rebuild the nation after 42 years of Gaddafi's rule and six months of civil war.

European Union foreign ministers meeting in the Polish seaside resort of Sopot on Friday and Saturday were to discuss how to help to stabilize Libya after the conflict.


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