Libya’s oil fields restart next week

5 September 2011, Sweetcrude, Tripoli – Libya’s National Transitional Council plans to restart oil production at the Misla and Sarir oilfields early next week, the country’s new oil minister, Ali Tarhounim, has announced.

Tarhouni told a news conference that Libya’s National Oil Corporation expected production on the fields to begin on either 12 or 13 September.

The news came as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had invited members of Libya’s interim government to Moscow to discuss the future of Russian energy contracts in the nation.

“We will discuss all of this,” Lavrov told reporters after being asked about the fate of Russian oil contracts agreed with Libya’s deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“They (Libya’s interim government) offered to hold contacts, and we have invited their respective representatives to Moscow, at their request.”

Russia’s top oil and gas producers Gazprom , Gazprom Neft and Tatneft had invested hundreds of millions of dollars exploration in Libya before suspending operations when an uprising broke out earlier this year against Gaddafi’s rule.

Director-general of the Russia-Libya Business Council, Aram Shegunts, told Reuters in August that Russian energy companies were likely to be barred from resuming work in Libya after NATO-backed rebels ousted Gaddafi who has been in power since 1969.

Russia recognised Libya’s ruling interim council this month.

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