How soon can Libya get its oil to flow?
An undated picture, taken before the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime, shows a general view of an oil and gas field in Tripoli.
October 26th, 2011
08:57 PM ET

How soon can Libya get its oil to flow?

With former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ousted and dead, Libya’s interim government seems confident the country can reach pre-war oil production levels soon. But not everyone is so optimistic.

Before the February uprising, Libya put out about 1.6 million barrels of oil each day. That’s 2% of the world’s daily oil production.

The oil stopped flowing during the civil war as foreign companies left without properly shutting down the oil infrastructure. It is estimated Libya is now producing about 350,000 barrels of oil per day, but Libya’s new leaders are anxious to get more oil flowing.

Some oil companies that operated wells and refineries in Libya before the war “expressed some skepticism regarding a restoration of production to full pre-war levels within the next six months,” according to Fadel Gheit, managing director of oil and gas research at the Oppenheimer & Co. investment bank and firm.

“Obviously, the whole country is in shambles … civil war, total anarchy. Nobody is in control,” Gheit said. “So it’s not, obviously, a situation that will encourage oil companies to hurry back to Libya anytime soon.”

Gheit said because European oil companies left Libya so quickly during the uprising, they didn’t place the drills and refineries in a state that would make them easy to start up again. In some cases, wells will have to be re-drilled.

The new leaders of Libya will have to invest in the dilapidated oil infrastructure to maximize production and increase the nation’s revenue. But their limited funds are also needed to rebuild the country in the wake of intense fighting. If they spend too much on one, they may not be able to get the other done.

Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum:

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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. raven

    Youre home now ,right ?Do they have you on a Holter Monitor or anything ?

    October 27, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    Well, I gotta get up early cuz I gotta go to the Dr myself tomorrow but Ill be in touch.promise. get some rest and dream happy .

    October 27, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    ok im not very good conversing with myself and its almost time 4 that hottie jimmy falon but banasy has my number, i just dont want it on here. gnite raven enjoy ur day off

    October 27, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. raven

    Silly girl.. on my phone so it takes forever ta post but I been answerin ya .just takes a few minutes ta post. Ill be in touch tho, k ? night night.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    u to and u can always email me @ not sure how much im gonna come on here

    October 27, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. my jj tweet

    3doorsdown just rocked my world! god they are good live!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. michaelfury

    October 27, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. michaelfury

    October 27, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    I just want to know why we are still praying to the oil gods when there is plenty of renewable, reusable energy to tap into! Please don't tell me about expense, like oil is cheap! It comes with an attrocious lack of regard for human life & the planet that sustains us & other creature inhabitants! Oil has a terrible legacy! I can't see nations going to war over sun power for ex.! No1 has monopoly on it! That is the type of energy we need, a friendly, peaceful renewable source! We should be ahead of this game, but dropped the ball in the 70s when the 1st gas crunch happened! Well Libya is up for the highest bidder now & something tells me that will, in a large capacity be us! US!!

    October 27, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    People of the United States of America and President Obama.
    Mr President.Here is a chance not to waste a good crisis.Send in American,Brittish and French Military Boots on the Ground to secure all the Oil PRODUCING ASSETS working in conjuction with the locals that control the area.This would allow the refinery workers to safely return and get the oil flowing again.We need to tell the new Libyan Government we want Oil at no cost in return for all our Military Support.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    I do not believe you are far from wrong.
    And, hello.
    We've missed you.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    Oh, who cares for all that crude. Let them bathe in that stuff. We went in to liberate people and for human rights & for democracy.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Frank

    Don't worry folks, since the U.S., Great Britain and France now own Libya, their oil will be flowing soon enough. Now we'll soon be seeing big U.S. and European Corporations rolling in dough while the Libyan people sink into a life of poverty!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • chrissy

      Sadly enough Frank, you're right! It really upsets me to see the NATO forces steamroll their way yet into another third world country. In fact, it reminds me of the early days of WW2 when the Axil countries were winning!!!

      October 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |


    October 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Juba

    You do not receive oil of Libya!

    Here that for you waits there:

    Русския for the free Libya! Russian for Kaddafi!

    October 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
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