Libya’s oil output has dropped by around half as workers in the industry have fled because of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.
That estimate comes from the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation Shokri Ghanem.
He also said Libya’s oil installations are undamaged and everything is being does to keep them safe. He also insisted the National Oil Corporation is overseeing production and exports.
On the 50 percent fall in output Ghanem said: “It is basically due to the labourers leaving because of the panic. If they come back, it is well protected and production can continue as before.”
He declined to comment on reports of a split in the national oil firm. A Libyan official told Reuters on Monday that a unit of NOC had decided to operate separately from its parent until Gaddafi is overthrown.
Hassan Bulifa, a member of the management board of Agoco, a unit of NOC, said in the eastern city of Benghazi that his firm was considering setting up its own marketing division to sell crude.
Ghanem declined to comment on the development and said NOC remained in control. “I am in my office; we are running the business; we are trying to do our utmost to keep the oil installations safe,” he said.