Libya’s oil production will not return to pre-civil war levels until the end of next year, while 10 percent of the nation’s energy infrastructure remains badly damaged.

Speaking at an economic forum in Doha, Qatar, Nuri Berouin, the chief of Libya’s National Oil Corp. said crude oil output should reach pre-war levels of 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2012. At present, production is at 600,000 bpd, and should reach 800,000 a day by the end of this year.

Our production has reached 600,000 bpd of which 140,000 bpd go to [local] refineries, [with the remaining 460,000 bpd for sent for export],” he said.

Oil exports from Libya only resumed in September, six months after the brutal civil war commenced and virtually shut down the country’s petroleum industry.

Reportedly, oil production in Libya plunged to as low as 10,000 bpd in August during the bloodiest episodes of the civil war.

Berouin also warned that the cost of repairing the oil industry’s infrastructure will likely run into “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Another official of National Oil Corp. told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the rate of the country’s oil recovery program has gone faster than expected following the repair of an important oil pipeline.

That pipeline had been disrupted by Libyan rebels in an effort to prevent the export of crude oil that would have benefitted the regime of the ousted Moammar Gaddafi.

A member of OPEC, Libya accounts for only about 2 percent of global crude output, however its high quality always has ready buyers on the market. Europe and China are two of Libya’s principal oil markets.