Bloomberg News

Libya Needs Urgent Solution to Sustain Reserves, Jibril Says

October 22, 2011

(Updates with prime minister’s comments in second paragraph.)

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Libya has used up about 62 percent of its oil reserves and urgently needs to find alternative sources of income to rebuild its war-torn economy, the country’s acting prime minister said today.

“We need a clear vision, the core of which is to replace oil with another source of national income,” Mahmoud Jibril said today at the World Economic Forum meeting at the Dead Sea in Jordan. “Our oil is depleting fast.”

The death this week of Libya’s president for four decades, Muammar Qaddafi, may bring to an end eight months of fighting between loyalists and the one-time rebels who now run the country after seizing the capital, Tripoli, in August. Qaddafi spent some of Libya’s revenue on personal security, building up a militia loyal to his family that was implicated in some of his worst human-rights violations.

Libya was producing about 1.6 million barrels of oil a day before the conflict broke out, causing output to slump to a “trickle,” according to the International Energy Agency, as foreign companies fled and fighters battled for control of the oil facilities. Production will be back up to 600,000 barrels by the end of this year, the agency said last week. Libya’s estimated reserves of 47 billion barrels are the ninth-largest in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Libya should work on utilizing the remaining reserves properly for the rebuilding process, Jibril said. The reconciliation process paving the way toward elections should be completed within eight months, he said.

--With assistance from Mohammad Ghazal in the Dead Sea. Editors: Andrew J. Barden, Digby Lidstone

To contact the reporter on this story: Vivian Salama in Dead Sea, Jordan via Abu Dhabi bureau at vsalama@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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