After Gaddafi, Libya's Oil Industry Faces Political Challenges

Oil prices have fallen as end of fighting in Libya appears imminent. It could, however, be a long while before Libyan crude supplies return to prewar levels.

Repairing the war damage to Libya’s oil infrastructure will be challenging enough. The political hurdles may prove even harder to deal with. Amy Myers Jaffe heads the Energy Forum at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“Like we’ve seen in Egypt, it’s one thing to change the government, [but] it’s another thing to stabilize the country in such a way that people can make billions of dollars of infrastructure investment.”

Jaffe says that will require the new Libyan government to establish the rule of law, as well as a bureaucracy capable of handling the paperwork for contracts.

“Eventually, to get Libya back to the export levels that we were experiencing before the unrest is probably going to take months, not days.”

Before civil war broke out in February, Libya supplied roughly a million barrels of oil a day to international markets. 

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...