BASF - Libyan oil output almost at pre-crisis level

FRANKFURT, July 26 Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:58am EDT

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FRANKFURT, July 26 (Reuters) - Chemicals maker BASF has managed to ramp up oil production in Libya to levels close to those before the armed conflict in the North African nation.

"Production has gone up a little bit. We are almost at where we were before the Libyan crisis started in 2011. The bottleneck actually is the export infrastructure dependent on publicly available infrastructure," Chief Executive Kurt Bock told Reuters Insider TV.

He also said BASF was under no time pressure to pursue larger takeovers, even though two years have passed since its latest major deal, the purchase of household product additives maker Cognis.

"We are not in a hurry at all. We are looking at what's going on around the world. We have ample liquidity and cash reserves available," CEO Bock said.

He would like to buy Asian companies but various factors made it very difficult to strike a deal there, the CEO added.

Earlier on Thursday, BASF , the world's largest chemicals maker by sales, stuck to its outlook of higher operating earnings this year, shored up by its oil and gas division, which would more than offset a decline at its core chemicals businesses. (Reporting by Axel Threlfall, Writing by Ludwig Burger)

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