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.

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.

Even if little damage was done to the fields or the infrastructure, political uncertainty and security concerns will delay the industry's recovery. Analysts say it could be another year before the country hits its pre-war output.

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

The country relies on oil exports for the overwhelming majority of its foreign revenue.


Associated Press writer Tarek El-Tablawy in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.