If successful, the reopening could help Libya make strides towards reaching and exceeding pre-conflict output levels of 1.6 million barrels per day. After quickly rebounding in late 2011, Libyas output collapsed under pressure from militias and protesters who have figured out the quickest way to make their voices heard in Tripoli is to target oil and gas facilities. At times, those actions have reduced output to as low as 200,000 bpd. According to a Reuters report, the countrys output currently stands at 555,000 bpd, making the return of both the Sharara Field and the Brega port all the more important. However, Tripoli and regional observers have found little reason for celebration as the country continues to struggle with a level of violence and political uncertainty that has forced necessary foreign partners to constantly reassess their presence there. Over the weekend, Libyas two largest international oil and gas investors pulled their expatriate staff from the country as violence surged around the capital citys airport, making it the worst the country has seen in six months. As fighting between rival militias forced the closing of the airport, Spains Repsol and Italys Eni sought out alternative exits for their foreign staff, including crossing the border to Tunisia and relying on offshore facility for relief. According to The Wall Street Journal, the exit comes shortly after Frances Total removed its staff from the country. Even if the NOC are able to sustain the agreements to reopen the closed facilities, output will continue to suffer with the absence of foreign firms.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/christophercoats/2014/07/22/violence-stifles-libyas-oil-return/?ss=energy

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