Officials see sharp drop in Libya's oil exports

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) Libyan official say there's been a sharp drop in crude oil production and exports in the country after militias took over export terminals.

Omar al-Shakmak, a deputy to the country's oil minister, told reporters Thursday that Libyan production dropped from 1.4 million barrels a day in July to less than 250.000 barrels a day now. He said the "sharp decline is harming Libya's economy."

Al-Shakmak also said authorities will take unspecified "legal action" against the perpetrators. Even if the country takes back control of the terminals, it can take weeks to get pipelines running at capacity again.

Libyans ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 after a civil war. Now the country finds itself largely held hostage by the unchecked, heavily armed groups that fought Gadhafi.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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