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IEA: Many Months to Restore Libya's Oil Output

Workers check pipes and valves at Amaal oil field in eastern Libya, October 7, 2011.
Workers check pipes and valves at Amaal oil field in eastern Libya, October 7, 2011.

An expert at the International Energy Agency says it may be "many months" before Libya's damaged oil industry can resume full production. The head of IEA's Oil Industry and Markets Division, David Fyfe, said Thursday there are "many logistical, operational and security related challenges" to overcome in Libya.

Before the uprising, Libya produced about 1.6 million barrels of oil a day. The Bloomberg financial news service says production fell drastically, and recovered to to only 100,00 barrels per day last month.

Earlier this year, uprisings in Libya and other oil-producing nations caused a spike in oil prices as investors worried that supplies would be disrupted. To ease supply and price concerns, the IEA organized an effort by many nations to open their oil reserves and make up to 60 million barrels of oil available from to energy markets. That effort ended in mid-September.  

Thursday's death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appeared to have little impact on the world price of crude oil.

At one point, the price declined by nearly two dollars in New York trading. Bloomberg attributed the change to investor worries that Europe's continuing financial problems could cut demand for energy, rather events in Libya.

Officials of the International Monetary Fund say they are working to help Libya assess its battered economy and improve its public finances.

Thursday in Washington, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said officials from the global lender and the World Bank will return to Libya in a few weeks to continue that project.

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