Libyan oil output down to half mln bpd-official

TRIPOLI, March 9 Wed Mar 9, 2011 3:17pm EST

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TRIPOLI, March 9 (Reuters) - Unrest in Libya has cut oil output to about half a million barrels per day from 1.6 million bpd as many foreign and local workers left the oil fields, the country's top oil official said on Wednesday.

"Oil production went down. Now production is about half a million," Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's National Oil Corporation, told a news conference.

"In Libya's oil industry, fields are scattered in the desert. Many foreign workers panicked and wanted to leave, and Libyan workers too," he said.

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina and Michael Georgy, writing by Tom Heneghan)

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