Minister Mohamed Aoun of Oil and Gas said on Thursday that Libya has no gas above its energy requirements as the country still needs gas for operating its power plants.

The minister was responding to a question from Sputnik about the extent to which Libya can export additional quantities of gas to Europe.

"Libya exports about 300 million cubic feet of gas to Italy per day but still needs gas for running its power plants," Aoun told the Russian news agency.

He explained that increasing gas production in Libya would take three to four years, as he reaffirmed their intention to increase oil production to two million barrels per day.

However, the oil minister said such plans might clash with Libya's weak refining capacity.

In this context, Aoun said in separate statements that the Libyan-Turkish initial deal for energy exploration is valid despite a court ruling to freeze it.

He insisted that the agreement does not target Libya’s neighbours and has no negative effect whatsoever.

As Aoun puts it, the agreement was overblown due to the heated political atmosphere, saying it was merely a non-binding memorandum of understanding that depends largely on the intention of the two parties to advance to another stage.

Regarding the maritime dispute with Greece, Aoun expressed optimism that Libya could resume talks with the Greek government to settle differences legally and amicably.