Libya restarts southern oil field amid ongoing blockade

A Libyan oil worker from the Libyan National oil and gas company walks at the the Zawiya oil installation (22 Aug 2013) Libya's oil and gas production has fallen sharply since July due to various blockades

Libya has restarted oil production at the El Sharara field in the south of the troubled country after protesters ended a blockade, Reuters reports.

The National Oil Corporation said that it was shipping the equivalent of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

It hopes to reach the field's maximum output capacity of around 340,000 bpd within three days.

Blockades of oil terminals since July have severely restricting exports of oil, Libya's main source of income.

It comes as an elected central government tries to assert itself over up to 1,700 different armed militias, each with their own goals, following the uprising and toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Since the blockades of ports have begun, oil exports have fallen from more than 1 million bpd in July to just 110,000 bpd, according to the Reuters news agency.

Libya makes almost all its annual revenues of around $50bn from the sale of oil.

Workers in the oil sector are entitled to a 67% rise in their salaries from January, a government measure intended to shore up the industry and hold staff.

British oil worker Mark De Salis and his New Zealand partner Lynn Howie were killed this week, in an area home to a large oil and gas complex co-owned by Italian energy giant ENI.

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