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Full return of Libyan oil to ease global pressure

Libya's oil exports are set to return to full pre war levels by April this year, beating even the most optimistic estimates and potentially easing a global shortfall of oil caused by outages and conflicts.

A senior National Oil Corporation official said that Libya plans to export almost 1.4 million barrels of oil per day in April. At that level, its exports will exceed deliveries in February 2011 before the uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi began.

The rapid surge in flows, chiefly to importers in the Mediterranean, may ease pressure on global markets caused by conflicts in several oil producing countries as well as the loss of Iranian oil in July when Western sanctions kick in.

European refiners are struggling to cope as these supply problems have pushed Brent crude up by more than 17% since the start of the year to a high of USD 126.05 per barrel.

In post-war Libya, Italy remains Libya's biggest oil trading partner, accounting for almost a third of its total exports. But Libya's second biggest oil export destination for the year is now China which has accounted for around 17% of total exports since the start of the year.

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