Libyan rebels boost security at eastern oil fields

Sun May 1, 2011 7:10pm GMT

* No timeline on when exports can restart

* Serious damage at Misla field from attack

* Rebels in touch with potential buyers

By Deepa Babington

BENGHAZI, Libya, May 1 (Reuters) - Rebels controlling eastern Libya have boosted security at oil fields, but other time-consuming measures are needed before they can resume crucial exports, an oil official said.

The rebel-held Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) halted production at its Misla, Nafoora and Sarir oilfields after Gaddafi loyalists attacked Misla and Sarir in early April.

The three fields had produced about 400,000 barrels per day before the rebels rose up against Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade rule in mid-February.

Rebels have exported three shipments of crude since the uprising, and the storage facility at the Tobruk export terminal near the Egyptian border is now empty.

A swift resumption of oil exports is considered essential for the rebels to secure funds to pay salaries and keep services running in the territory they hold.   Continued...

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