Libya Warns Tankers Away from Ras Lanuf Port
Libya's recognized government warned its security forces would seize any tankers approaching the Ras Lanuf terminal without permission, saying any attempt to make oil deals with the rival government in Tripoli would be "piracy". The warning over Ras Lanuf illustrates how the OPEC country's oil industry is caught up in a power struggle between the two rival governments and their armed forces, who have each appointed competing figures in the state oil company. The internationally recognised government and elected parliament has operated in the east since last year, when an armed faction called Libya Dawn took over the capital, set up its own government and took control of ministries in Tripoli.
Libyan Military Shells Turkish Cargo Ship, Crewman Killed
Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government said on Monday they shelled a Turkish ship off the Libyan coast after it was warned not to approach, and one crew member was killed in what Turkey described as a "contemptible attack". Libya is in a state of violent factional chaos with two rival governments backed by various armed groups vying for control of the oil-producing North African state including its ports, four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. The dry cargo ship was targeted about 10 miles from the coast on Sunday after it was told not to break a ban on approaching the eastern city of Derna, Libyan military spokesman Mohamed Hejazi told Reuters.
Libya Shells Turkish Cargo Ship, One Dead
Turkey says vessel was carrying plasterboard to Tobruk. Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government said on Monday they shelled a Turkish ship off the Libyan coast after it was warned not to approach, and one crew member was killed in what Turkey described as a "contemptible attack". Libya is in a state of violent factional chaos with two rival governments backed by various armed groups vying for control of the oil-producing North African state including its ports, four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. The dry cargo ship was targeted about 10 miles from the coast on Sunday after it was told not to break a ban on approaching the eastern city of Derna, Libyan military spokesman Mohamed Hejazi told Reuters.
First Oil tanker Libya's Hariga Since Strike, Storm
An oil tanker has docked at Libya's port of Hariga for the first time since security guards ended a strike this week and a storm passed, a port official said on Thursday. Authorities managed earlier this week to persuade security guards to end a strike over delayed salary payments, keeping Libya's only functional onshore oil export port open. A storm then further delayed the terminal's reopening. Greek-registered Minerva Zoe, which had been waiting to dock for a week, would start loading 725,000 barrels of oil soon, the official said, asking not to be identified. The tanker was bound for Italy. Another tanker importing 25,000 tonnes to Libya had also arrived, he said.
Libya Reopens Oil Port After Strike
Libya reopened its oil port of Hariga on Tuesday, ending a strike by guards that had threatened to further slash exports as rival factions fight for control of the OPEC country. The threat to shut down Hariga underlined the fragility of oil shipments as two competing governments and their armed allies are locked in a scramble for territory and petroleum wealth. Hariga reopened shortly before the United Nations was expected to hold talks to prevent a wider conflict that Western governments fear will turn Libya into a failed state just across the Mediterranean from Europe. Libya shut most operations at the Hariga terminal near Egypt's border, the last functioning land oil export terminal, on Saturday after security guards prevented a tanker from docking in a protest over wage payments.
Port Battle Underscores Possible Libya Break-Up
Armed factions deploying heavy weapons. Peace talks making little progress. Hidden behind a pile of sand, a tank points its gun towards Libya's biggest oil port on the other side of an invisible frontier that now divides the north African nation. Factions fighting for control of Libya and its oil wealth have moved columns of heavy weapons to this new front line running through the middle of the country, escalating a conflict that Western powers fear may lead to a national break-up four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
New Fighting for Libyan Oil Ports
New clashes erupted on Tuesday between rival factions fighting for control of Libya's biggest oil ports Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, killing at least 10 people, the two sides said. The fighting came a day after the United Nations said it was seeking a ceasefire to pave the way for a new round of peace talks between factions operating two opposing governments, nearly four years after Muammar Gaddafi's overthrow. Libya's internationally-recognised government under Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and the elected House of Representatives have been based in the east since a group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli last summer, set up its own administration and reinstated the old parliament.
Libya Returns Fuel Tanker to Rival Government
Libya's recognized government has released a tanker forced to dock at a port under its control after originally banning it from delivering fuel to its rival administration, a port official said on Tuesday. War planes forced the tanker Anwaar Afriqya to sail to Tobruk after it had originally approached the port of Misrata, the air force commander for the recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said on Monday. Libya's recognized government has worked from a headquarters in the east of the country since the summer when rival forces under the banner Libya Dawn took over the capital Tripoli and installed their own self-proclaimed government.
Oil Tankers are Front Line of Libya's Struggles
Crew members killed in tanker attack this month; West fears worsening violence could lead to civil war. Oil shippers face higher costs and the possible loss of insurance cover on Libyan voyages, caught in a struggle between the rival governments there and threatened by air attacks. John Dalby of maritime security firm MRM, said he had prepared evacuation plans for an unnamed oil company if the situation deteriorated further, adding that attacks on tankers were expected to continue, reducing the pool of ships willing to make runs to and from Libya. "We are likely to see more attrition between the rival governments and tankers are an easy target," he said. "This is expected to mean tanker owners will be even less keen on risking their tankers.
Libya Forces Tanker Away from Supplying Rival Government
Libya's recognized government said it forced a tanker from delivering fuel to its rival administration, diverting the vessel to its own territory by threatening an air attack on it. The tanker Anwaar Afriqya was approaching the port of Misrata, but diverted to Tobruk, a port official at the latter said on Monday. "Our planes are forcing an oil tanker to sail to Tobruk after it had been on the way first to Misrata," Saqer al-Joroushi, air force commander for recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, told state news agency Lana. Libya's recognized government works from a headquarters in the east of the country since the summer when rival forces under the banner Libya Dawn took over the capital Tripoli and installed their own self-proclaimed government.
Air Strikes on Port of Misrata
Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government on Saturday staged air strikes on the commercial port of Misrata, a western city allied to a group that holds the capital Tripoli, both sides said. Fighting was also reported near the country's biggest oil export port located in the east, part of a struggle between troops loyal to two competing governments and parliaments. The internationally recognised prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been forced to run a rump…
Libya Containing Port Fire, Export Resumption in Question
Libya has made progress containing a fire at its largest oil port that has destroyed four days of the country's oil production but the damage to storage tanks will hamper efforts to resume exports, officials and industry insiders said. The fire at Es Sider, the country's main oil export terminal, has been blazing for a week and is a visible indication of the destructive violence that threatens to tear the country apart almost four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. The North African country is in the middle of a power struggle between two opposing governments -- the internationally recognised authorities in the east and rivals who have seized power in the capital -- that are vying for control of Africa's biggest oil reserves.
Oil Tanks Destroyed at Libya Port, Others Still Ablaze
Two oil storage tanks remain on fire at Libya's Es Sider oil port while two others have collapsed almost a week after clashes there sparked the blaze, a spokesman for state National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Tuesday. Fires at two other storage tanks at Libya's biggest oil port had been extinguished but the damage was unclear, NOC spokesman Mohamed El Harari said. An industry source said at least 1.2 million barrels of oil had been destroyed by the fire which broke out after clashes reported on Dec. 25 between armed factions allied to Libya's internationally recognised government and a group called Libya Dawn which is vying for control of the country.
Libyan Oil Output Shrinks as Oil Tanks Blaze
Libya's oil output has shrunk back further after blazing oil tanks at a major terminal helped world oil prices higher and burnt a bigger hole in its dollar currency reserves. It is surviving on a mere 128,000 barrels per day from fields connected to the eastern port of Hariga, an oil official said on Monday, while fighting halted the major ports Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. Total oil output, adding in offshore fields, is around 350,000 bpd -- a fraction of the 1.6 million bpd it produced before the 2011 civil war. Some oil is keeping two refineries going and the official was unable to say how much, if any, was available for export. Oil tanks at Es Sider have been on fire for days after a rocket hit one of them, destroying more than two days of Libyan production, officials said on Sunday.
Italy's Help Sought to Extinguish Fire at Oil Port
Libya has called on Italy to send firefighters to prevent a fire spreading out of control at Es Sider, the country's biggest oil port, officials said on Saturday. A rocket hit an oil storage tank last week at the port in the east of the country during clashes between forces allied to Libya's competing governments. Ali al-Hassi, spokesman for a security force allied to the internationally-recognised government, said the fire had spread to a total of five oil tanks. "We are trying to extinguish it but our capacities are limited," he said.
Fighting for Ports Escalates in Libya
Military planes loyal to Libya's recognised government attacked on Sunday an opposing force that is seeking to seize the country's two biggest oil ports, officials said. The advancing force, which is allied to a rival government based in Tripoli, moved east a week ago to try take the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports. The adjacent terminals have since closed, halting exports of an estimated 300,000 barrels a day of oil. The recognised government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni was forced to relocate to the east after losing control of Tripoli in August to a group called Libya Dawn, which installed a new administration in the capital city.
Brent Oil Rises Back Above US$110
Brent crude rose back above $110 a barrel on Thursday on signs of stronger demand from top oil consumer the United States, with a sharp drop in its gasoline stocks adding to recent data showing a strengthening economy. The brighter demand outlook underpinned prices already boosted by concerns about the loss of most supply from Libya and a widening rift between the West and Russia, the world's second largest oil exporter, over Ukraine. Still, some investors looking at price charts…
Libyan Rebel Refuses to Hand Over Oil Ports
A former Libyan rebel leader, who seized oil ports in the past to campaign for eastern autonomy, said he had turned down an offer to join an armed group challenging the internationally-recognized government. The loyalty of Ibrahim Jathran to the government is key to ensure that three oil ports accounting for at least 500,000 barrels of days of exports in eastern Libya will stay open. He had closed with thousands of supporters the ports in summer 2013 to press for regional autonomy…
Libyan Rebels Refuse to Deal with New PM
Stance threatens efforts to reopen terminals; Maiteeq sworn in as PM after chaotic election. Seizure of ports, oilfields has cut vital crude output. Rebels occupying major oil ports in eastern Libya said on Wednesday they would not deal with new Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, a stance that could threaten efforts to reopen the terminals in the OPEC producer. Maiteeq's predecessor Abdullah al-Thinni had reached an agreement with the rebels to reopen four of the ports, though only the smaller ones, Hariga and Zueitina, have been handed over to government forces. Both sides had agreed to hold further talks over the larger Ras Lanuf and Es Sider exports terminals. But the rebels' comments on Wednesday suggested those efforts could hit difficulties. "We refuse to deal with Ahmed Maiteeq ...
Libyan Rebels Reject Talks With PM, Keep Oil Ports Shut
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.