Germany's Wintershall stops Libyan oil production

23rd February 2011, Comments 0 comments

German oil firm Wintershall said Wednesday it had stopped oil production in Libya due to the security situation in the violence-hit country, a spokesman said.

The production at Wintershall's eight oil fields in the country has been stopped "due to security reasons," the spokesman told AFP.

The company which has 400 employees there, mostly Libyans, had earlier said its daily production of 100,000 barrels per day would be reduced, but that a small group of core workers would remain on site.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Libyan oil makes up 7.7 percent of Germany's supplies, making it the fifth biggest supplier.

An economy ministry spokeswoman told a regular briefing earlier Wednesday that Europe's top economy has plentiful reserves and there was "no reason for concern."

Earlier Wednesday, French energy giant Total, which produced an average of 55,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its Libyan wells in 2010 or 2.3 percent of the giant's production, said it was suspending some of its production.

Spain's biggest oil company Respol has also said it is suspending its production in Libya.

The turmoil in Libya, Africa's fourth largest oil producer, has sent crude prices soaring with Brent North Sea crude hitting $108.57 per barrel at one stage, the highest level since September 2008.

© 2011 AFP

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