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Blog Editor Expresses Doubts About Speed Of Restoring Libyan Oil Production

In an interview with Iraqhurr radio (Arabic) on October 24, the MEMRI Economic Blog editor, N.Raphaeli, took a contrarian view with analysts who argued that the demise of al-Qadhafi will speed up the restoration of oil production to pre-revolt level within a short time. He used historical precedents to support his position:

· Iraq could only return to a pre-invasion level after eight years

· Iran's oil production has declined from six million barrels/day during the Shah's regime to three million barrels/day currently [Sanctions have hampered Iran's ability to acquire new technology to increase oil production from aging oil fields or to develop new ones]

· Libya was producing three million barrels/day in 1970, a year after Qaddafi took power. It was producing 1.6 million barrels/day during most of Qaddafi's years in power.

There are other difficulties involved in restoring production to old levels: ports of oil exports were damaged, workers and technicians left the country with the outbreak of violence and there are political divisions with the National Transitional Council that could impede the development of an effective oil policy.

Source: iraqhurr.org , October 25, 2011

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