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Libya’s worker exodus halves oil production

CAIRO, Egypt – Libya’s oil chief says production is down 50 percent because of the exodus of foreign oil workers fleeing the country’s violent uprising against leader Moammar Gadhafi.

But Shukri Ghanem, the head of the National Oil Co., told the Associated Press on Monday that all of Libya’s oil installations are protected and safe.

International companies have been evacuating their foreign staff because of the violence.

Gasoline prices rose 4 percent last week to a national average of $3.29 per gallon. That’s the highest level ever for this time of year, when prices are typically low.

Associated Press