October 13, 2013 / 2:01 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Libyan PM says oil production at 600,000 to 700,000 bpd

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TRIPOLI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Libya is currently producing between 600,000 to 700,000 barrels per day of oil, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said on Sunday, as it tries to end protests that have shut down oilfields and ports.

A mix of striking workers, militias and political activists knocked the OPEC member’s oil production to as low as 200,000 bpd last month, from 1.6 million bpd before leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011.

Libya took its first steps towards resuming output in the west in mid-September after reaching a deal with some protesters, and its oil minister said on Oct. 2 full output could be restored within days.

In the first production update since then, Zeidan told reporters: “Oil production is now between 600,000, 650,000 and 700,000 bpd.”

He said the government and parliament were working on solving the conflict “soon”.

“Libya is going through a difficult phase,” he said.

Talks to reopen the major oil export terminals of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in the east have taken time because while some protesters are demanding better benefits, more local investment and more jobs, others have linked their demands to political wrangling over the future shape of Libya.

Protesters in the east want a federal Libya with greater powers and the headquarters of the National Oil Company (NOC) transferred to Benghazi, the capital of the east and birthplace of the revolution that removed Gaddafi from power.

Parliament is due to write a new constitution for the new Libya but different groups are pushing their own agendas. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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