Libyan Rebels Reject Talks With PM, Keep Oil Ports Shut

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

 

Rebels occupying major oil ports in eastern Libya said on Wednesday they would boycott Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and keep two major export terminals shut for now, a blow to efforts to restore vital oil exports.

The rebels even warned they would take action if Tripoli did not fulfil its part of a recent agreement to reopen the oil ports, a veiled threat to close the terminals again.

"Nothing has been implemented," said Abd-Rabbo al-Barassi, self-declared prime minister of the rebel movement.

He accused the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists in parliament of undermining the agreement and trying to take over the ports.

The struggle over energy wealth is part of growing turmoil in the North African country three years after the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Maiteeq's predecessor, Abdullah al-Thinni, reached an agreement with the rebels to reopen four of the ports, although only the smaller facilities, Hariga and Zueitina, have been handed over to government forces.

Both sides agreed to hold further talks over the larger Ras Lanuf and Es Sider exports terminals.

Barassi said the rebels would not deal with Maiteeq, claiming he had not come to power legally. The businessman was sworn in on Sunday after a chaotic election in parliament that was disputed by many deputies.

"Mr Abdullah al-Thinni needs to explain or appoint someone to say why there is this delay and why the agreement has not been implemented," Barassi told a rebel television station.

If the government did implement the deal, then the rebels might take unspecific "measures." Barassi did not elaborate, but rebel spokesman Ali al-Hasi said this would mean asking tribal elders whether the reopened ports should be closed again.

Barassi said more talks about "new conditions" were needed to reopen the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports. He did not say what these conditions would entail, but top leader Ibrahim Jathran said the group wanted a federal system sharing power and oil wealth between the regions, an impossible demand on the weak central government.

There was no immediate comment from Tripoli, which has struggled to assert authority over a country awash in arms and rival militias, some of which have seized oil ports and fields to make political and financial demands.

DEFICIT

Their actions have cut oil output to 250,000 barrels a day from 1.4 million bpd last summer, eroding public finances that are almost entirely dependent on crude exports.

Parliament has failed to approve a budget for this year.

Libya will post a budget deficit of 10 billion Libyan dinars ($8 billion) because oil revenues will reach only 34.7 billion dinars, said Mohammed Ali Abdullah, head of the parliamentary budget committee.

However, the deficit might be much higher because the draft, which comes to a vote on Sunday, assumes annual oil production of 800,000 bpd and an oil price of $100 a barrel, an unlikely goal if the Ras Lanuf or Es Sider ports remain shut.

Total expenditures will be 59 billion dinars, mainly for public salaries and subsidies, Abdullah said.

He did not say how the deficit would be funded. The central bank had foreign reserves worth $115 billion at the end of February. Oil exports are also the only source of funding for annual imports of $30 billion.

In another sign of turmoil, most air traffic at Benghazi airport came to a halt for hours after a fight among ground staff.

The two main local carriers, Libyan and Afriqiyah Airlines, suspended operations after a member of the ground staff tried to smuggle two Chadians without travel documents onto a flight, airport officials said.

The employee scuffled with a colleague who tried to stop him, a source at ground handling firm al-Shorooq said.

And in Tripoli, gunmen beat up the chairman of one of the biggest state cellphone operators to demand that the company open an office in their town, a company source said. Staff plan to strike on Thursday, he added.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli, Feras Bosalum and Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Andrew Heavens/Ruth Pitchford and Andre Grenon)

($1 = 1.2265 Libyan Dinars)

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

UN Authorizes Ship Inspections Near Somalia For Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Liebherr to Deliver RTGs to Mayotte and Manila

Liebherr confirms orders for variable speed RTGs and electric RTGs. DPWorld Asian Terminals Inc. has placed an order with Liebherr Container Cranes for a further 5 RTGs at its Manila facility.

Finance

Areva-Siemens Raises Claim Over Finnish Reactor Delays

The French-German consortium Areva-Siemens , the supplier of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor, has increased its claim against Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO),

Ezra Bags $70m in Offshore Contracts

Ezra Holdings Limited, a leading contractor and provider of integrated offshore solutions to the oil and gas industry, today announced that the Group’s Subsea Services division,

WFW Advises ING Bank on $340m Loan Facility for Euronav

Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised ING Bank N.V. (ING) as sole bookrunner and facility agent for a syndicate of banks on a $340 million loan facility made available to Euronav NV.

Energy

Decade Old India Shipping Summit Makes History

In ten years, India Shipping Summit held consistently in Mumbai, has sailed on a robust growth course despite the worldwide witnessing recessionary waves buffeting any endeavors to grow and gain.

Areva-Siemens Raises Claim Over Finnish Reactor Delays

The French-German consortium Areva-Siemens , the supplier of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor, has increased its claim against Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO),

16 Die in Coal Mine Accident in China

Sixteen workers were killed after a coal mine collapsed in China's far western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, highlighting

News

Decade Old India Shipping Summit Makes History

In ten years, India Shipping Summit held consistently in Mumbai, has sailed on a robust growth course despite the worldwide witnessing recessionary waves buffeting any endeavors to grow and gain.

USCG to Ensure Safety During World Series

The Coast Guard and local agencies are working to ensure the safety of boaters and baseball fans during World Series games at AT&T Park this weekend. The

Areva-Siemens Raises Claim Over Finnish Reactor Delays

The French-German consortium Areva-Siemens , the supplier of Finland's much-delayed Olkiluoto-3 nuclear reactor, has increased its claim against Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO),

Vessels

COSCO Delivers Bulker

The Board of Directors of COSCO Corporation (Singapore) Limited announced that COSCO (Dalian) Shipyard Co., Ltd a subsidiary of the Company's 51% owned COSCO Shipyard Group Co.

Navy to Commission Submarine North Dakota

The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine North Dakota, during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

WFW Advises ING Bank on $340m Loan Facility for Euronav

Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised ING Bank N.V. (ING) as sole bookrunner and facility agent for a syndicate of banks on a $340 million loan facility made available to Euronav NV.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2149 sec (5 req/sec)