BASF's Wintershall to build Libya oil pipeline to aid exports

* A 55-km pipeline will be laid over the winter

* Start-up envisaged in spring 2013

FRANKFURT, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Wintershall, the second-largest foreign oil firm operating in Libya before the civil war, said it would team up with the country's National Oil Co. to build a pipeline to relieve an exports bottleneck.

The company, the oil and gas arm of German chemicals group BASF , said the 55 km-long (34-mile) pipe would help carry crude oil to export port Ras Lanuf in northern Libya and that it expected it to be in operation by spring 2013.

"Wintershall is sending a clear signal of its commitment to building a new Libya," it said on Tuesday.

The company used to produce about 100,000 barrels per day before the conflict which led to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi being deposed last year. Output was halted in spring 2011 because of the fighting.

With more than $2 billion invested in the country and 150 wells sunk in Libya, the company was second only to Italy's Eni

among foreign firms before the conflict. Libya accounted for almost three-quarters of its oil output.

Wintershall said its daily production in the country had now recovered to 85,000 barrels per day, and it aims to restore its production to pre-war levels next year.

The pipeline will link the Wintershall concession C96, the Nafoora oil field, operated by Libya's biggest oil firm Agoco, and the Amal field, Wintershall said in a statement.

"Wintershall plans to lay the approximately 4,000 parts of the 55-km-long pipeline right through the desert by spring 2013," it said.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Pravin Char)

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