Abu Dhabi: Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC) on Monday said it is not in a position to extract or refine oil.

But the Benghazi-based rebel council said it will look for major refiners once it is ready to tap into the country's oil market.

"When we do, the price will be set following negotiations with those major oil companies that have refinery capabilities. It should be noted that in the short term, we will only export enough crude to meet our needs during these difficult times," the TNC said in a statement..

Libya's oil exports are down to a trickle following a public uprising earlier this year to overthrow the Muammar Gaddafi-led regime. This has put pressure on other states of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to make up for the shortfall.

Oil prices on the international markets have been highly volatile since the uprisings in the Arab world.

The TNC said during its time as a temporary government, it will continue to honour all finance and oil contracts signed by the Gaddafi regime.

No production

Regarding Libya's National Oil Company, TNC said, "The NOC is currently subject to international sanctions. We are still exploring what will happen to the NOC in the future. However, for now, no oil is being produced."

The TNC also said many companies are eager to come back to Libya.

"Our priority, however, is the Libyan people and providing them with a basic standard of living. Although there are employees who have not been paid, there are also fellow Libyans getting shelled and living without electricity, food and running water. These are the priority right now."

The TNC, also known as the Interim National Council or the Libyan National Council, is a political body formed by anti-Gaddafi forces. Its formation was announced in the city of Benghazi on February 27 and its intended purpose is to act as the "political face of the revolution".

On March 5, the council issued a statement in which it declared itself to be the "sole representative of all Libya".

An interim government was formed by the council on March 23.

It has so far been been officially recognised as the sole legitimate government of Libya by 22 countries, half of which are European.