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China oil producer CNPC halts Libya production

by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Feb 28, 2011
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the nation's largest oil and gas producer, said Monday it has halted production in crisis-hit Libya and evacuated all its employees from the country.

The company has suspended production operations and sealed up its equipment in in the oil-rich north African state "in a timely and orderly manner", state-owned CNPC said in a statement.

It said last week that some of its project camps and operating sites were attacked during "the recent security upheaval", without giving any specific details about damage.

The last batch of its nearly 400 employees in Libya arrived safely at Tunisia's main international airport in Tunis on Sunday and will be repatriated to China by Tuesday afternoon, according to the latest statement.

CNPC, the parent of listed company PetroChina, has been present in Libya since 2002 and now has oil and gas assets and interests in the country, according to its website. It also provides oilfield services.

The company statement gave no figures on its Libyan oil and gas production.

China has launched an air, sea and land operation to evacuate more than 30,000 citizens from Libya, as unrest in the country continues.

The foreign ministry said Monday it had evacuated nearly 29,000 of its nationals from the strife-torn nation, where a popular uprising has left hundreds dead and triggered a mass exodus of foreigners.

The ministry said around 2,500 Chinese citizens had already returned home and 23,000 more had been sent to Greece, Malta, Tunisia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, where they were waiting to board flights home.

According to state media, Chinese citizens living in Libya work mainly in the oil, rail and telecom sectors.

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