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Oil Prices Fall After Gadhafi’s Death

"It may take years to correct the damage and to calm understandably wary investors."

The price of oil fell after the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, although it should take months for Libya's oil industry to recover and for the full impact to be felt on world markets, according to recent reports from the Associated Press.

Oil fell $1.08 to $85.03 per barrel in New York on Thursday. At the pump, the price of gasoline was flat at about $3.47 a gallon.

Before the Libyan civil war, Libya had exported 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, or 2 percent of global demand. When Libya stopped exporting most of that oil eight months ago, it helped push the price of oil to $114 a barrel.

Oil has also become cheaper since then because of falling demand in a slowing global economy.

Libya sits atop Africa's largest proven reserves of conventional crude. Before the civil war, it was the world's 12th-largest exporter, mostly to Europe. Analysts estimate it is currently producing close to 400,000 barrels per day.

The major foreign oil firms that had operated in Libya before the start of the civil war, such as Italy's Eni SpA and Spain's Repsol, are starting to return and assess the situation.

However, it could take some time before Libya returns to its pre-war output levels. As written about earlier on The Blaze:

First, and most obviously, security must be reestablished. A new government will have to be formed, the United Nations must lift their international sanctions and damaged oil fields and pipelines have to be repaired.

With intense back-and-forth fighting, the conflict in Libya has damaged pipelines and fields and forced out foreign oil engineers who were brought in to help export an estimated 1.5 million barrels every day. It may take years to correct the damage and to calm understandably wary investors.

[. . .]

although . . .  some technicians [have been sent] back to the country to restart oil and natural gas operations . . . some analysts believe that restarting crude production could take several years.

In a research note, Eurasia Group said they expect Libya's output could reach 600,000 barrels per day by the end of the year.

But that might be overoptimistic.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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