The Associated Press March 19, 2011, 8:50AM ET

Libya oil chief says country still honoring deals

The head of Libya's national oil company says the country is honoring all its commitments and trying to recover from a huge drop in production due to a rebel uprising against ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

Shukri Ghanim told a press conference in Tripoli Saturday that production had dropped because foreign experts had left oil fields, which were then looted.

He said most of the oil fields had been "restored," but and asked foreign companies to send their laborers back to Libya. Thousands fled the country following the outbreak of the uprising last month

Gadhafi has violently repressed all signs of dissent and sent forces to capture rebel-held towns and oil fields. Regime forces were striking the rebel stronghold of Benghazi Saturday.

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