Speaking during Tuesday's press conference alongside his Prime Minister, Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi said that oil production has increased, and will increase further after the three day Eid public holiday. However, last week Arusi reported that production was down by 70 percent.
Arusi said that all production in the fields in western Libya were functioning normal again, producing about 700,000 barrels per day, and that he expected this to rise to 800,000 after the three days of Eid. However, Arusi confirmed that Zueitina, Ras Lanuf and Sidra were still not operating.
The Oil Minister spent most of his speech defending himself from the criticism and accusations that he has received, after the public learned that some oil meters used to measure Libya’s hydrocarbon exports, have not been working.
Arusi admitted to the defective meters, and stressed that he had inherited this problem as a result of the fighting during the revolution. However, some in the media have gone further, and had accused Arusi of being privy to the corrupt exports of Libya’s oil by under declaring the exact amounts.
Oil Minister Arusi has fervently denied this, and is going so far as pursuing legal measures against those, who in his opinion, have defamed and slandered him. Arusi also defended his Prime Minister, the government and the NOC against any impropriety, and challenged anyone to come up with any evidence that proved that anyone in the government was acting incorrectly.