Libya Oil Output Slashed by Port Attacks
Libya has lost some 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production in recent days because of militant attacks at the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports, the head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, said on Tuesday.Sanalla said there were still militants present in the area of the terminals, which were closed on Thursday following an early morning attack by opponents of eastern-based Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar."We look to fight the fire first of all, stabilise the situation…
US Navy Recovered 12 Bodies, 41 Survivors from Migrant Boat off Libya
An American naval vessel went to the aid of a rubber boat that was sinking off the coast of Libya, rescuing 41 people and collecting 12 bodies, a humanitarian group said on Tuesday after its ship was contacted by radio to help out.The U.S. navy vessel Trenton called the German charity Sea Watch, which operates the only charity rescue ship currently on patrol off the Libyan coast, to alert them to the shipwreck and ask for assistance, a spokesman for Sea Watch said.The Dutch-flagged Sea Watch 3 ship was en route to rendezvous with the Trenton, said spokesman Ruben Neugebauer.
Storage Tank at Libya's Ras Lanuf Oil Port Has Collapsed
One of two oil storage tanks ignited amid clashes at the Libyan oil port of Ras Lanuf has collapsed after burning for two days, a local engineer and a fire fighter said on Tuesday.Ras Lanuf's storage tank No. 12 was set on fire on Sunday, three days after another storage tank, No. 2 caught ablaze during an attack by an armed group.Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has said that at least 400,000 barrels of storage capacity has been lost due the fires.Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli Writing by Aidan Lewis
Libya Coastguard Commander Says He Hits Migrants to Protect Them
A Libyan coastguard commander sanctioned by the United Nations for alleged human trafficking and migrant smuggling said he hits migrants but does so for their own safety to prevent them from capsizing.Abdalrahman al-Milad, who heads a coastguard unit in Zawiya, just west of Tripoli, was one of six people sanctioned for involvement in people trafficking or smuggling in Libya on June 7, in the first move of its kind.The sanctions freeze bank accounts of those listed and ban them from travelling internationally…
Libya: Air Strikes Aimed to Regain Oil Ports
East Libyan forces carried out air strikes around major oil ports on Saturday as they sought to regain control of the area from a rival faction, a military spokesman said. The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) and allied forces retreated on Friday from Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, two of Libya's largest export terminals, as a faction known as the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) attacked. The prospect of a renewed escalation of violence around the ports puts at risk the big rise in oil production achieved after the LNA took over four ports in September. Libya's oil production has been fluctuating around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), more than double its output last year but well under the 1.6 million bpd the OPEC member was producing before a 2011 uprising.
Libya Coastguard Clashes With Suspected Smugglers, Four Killed
Four suspected migrant smugglers were killed in an exchange of fire with the Libyan coastguard off western Libya on Thursday, spokesman Ayoub Qassem said. Qassem said the clash started when the coastguards tried to apprehend heavily armed gunmen whose boat was located near a migrant vessel close to the city of Zawiya, about 45 km (28 miles) west of Tripoli. "The coastguard boat detected the gunmen's boat by radar during a patrol," Qassem told Reuters. "The gunmen were asked to stop but they refused to follow the rules, which means most likely they were smugglers of illegal migrants. They opened fire at the patrol. Two of the suspected smugglers were arrested and one was missing, Qassem said.
Libya Captures Oil-smuggling Tankers after Firefight
Libyan naval forces captured two vessels suspected of smuggling oil from the North African country after gun battles lasting several hours west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman for the service said on Friday. Libyan forces frequently capture vessels smuggling oil and arms off the coast and the North African state has become a haven for migrant smugglers who take advantage of the country's turmoil to ship people across to Europe. Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Libyan naval forces, said Ukraine-flagged tanker Routa and a vessel with an unspecified African nation's flag named Stark were captured early Friday. "Clashes lasted for three hours, but the two tankers were successfully seized," Qassem said. The incident occurred in the Sidi Said area west of Tripoli.
Irish Navy Rescues 712 off Libya
An Irish naval ship rescued 712 people including pregnant women and infants off the coast of the Libyan capital of Tripoli as part of an international migrant rescue effort, Ireland's Defence Forces said on Monday. The LÉ Eithne ship led the rescue of multiple vessels in distress 40 kilometres north-west of Tripoli throughout Sunday. Six migrants, including one baby, were revived from states of unconsciousness. The ship will transport the people, including 14 pregnant women and four infants below the age of four months, to a designated "port of safety" to be handed over to Italian authorities. "I'm very proud to say all lives were saved, no lives were lost.
Three Dead, Thousands Rescued in Seas Off Libya
Three migrants died in the Mediterranean on Monday night, a German aid group said, during Italian-led rescue operations in which thousands more were pulled to safety from rickety boats. About 5,000 migrants were picked up off the Libyan coast by emergency services, Italy's navy, aid groups and private boats on Monday, and rescues were continuing on Tuesday, according to an Italian coastguard spokesman. "Despite all efforts, three people died from a sinking rubber boat" and rescue boats in the area are struggling to cope, German humanitarian group Jugend Rettet said on Facebook. Jugend Rettet (Rescuing Youth) is one of about nine aid…
UN Resolution Targets Libyan Fuel Smugglers
The U.N. Security Council has extended sanctions on illegal oil exports from Libya to cover refined petroleum products as well, in a bid to stem rampant smuggling of subsidised fuel by sea. Imported fuel that is priced lower for the domestic market is commonly smuggled by ship from western Libya to Malta, Italy and Turkey, and by land to Tunisia, according to U.N. investigators who earlier this month recommended an extension of the sanctions. Entrenched and powerful smuggling networks have been trading fuel for years, and it is unclear to what extent the resolution can be enforced. The new resolution, approved late on Thursday, is designed to make explicit that fuel smuggling is illegal…
Libya Coastguard Rescues Nearly 300 Migrants at Sea
Libya's coastguard rescued an estimated 278 migrants including women and children on Monday off the shores of two different towns west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman said. The coastal towns to the west of Tripoli - Zawiya, Sabratha, and Zuwarah - are common departure points for migrants trying to reach Europe, often sent out by smugglers in flimsy vessels. The coastguard near Zawiya refinery rescued 128 people about 23 km (14 miles) off the coast and another 150 were rescued off Sabratha, the spokesman of Libyan naval forces Ayoub Qaseed told Reuters. The migrants were mostly from sub-Saharan African countries, though there was also one from Bangladesh and two from Egypt.
Macron, Gentiloni Discussing STX, Libya, Migration
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni received a "friendly" phone call on Thursday from French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the STX France shipyard, Libya and immigration, Gentiloni's office said. Relations between the two EU allies has been strained this month by a number of issues, including France's decision to block a bid by Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri to buy a controlling stake in STX France. Rome has also felt slighted by France's diplomatic moves in Libya and annoyed by Macron's refusal to take in migrants who have poured across the Mediterranean into Italy in recent years. Reporting by Crispian Balmer
Italy Gives Green Light to Libya Naval Mission
Italy to send two boats to help Libya coastguard; plans for larger operation thwarted by Libya. Italy's parliament authorised on Wednesday a limited naval mission to help Libya's coastguard curb migrant flows, which have become a source of growing political friction ahead of national elections expected early next year. An Italian official said Rome planned to send two boats to Libyan waters, with Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti saying the vessels would only provide technical support and would not infringe on the north African country's sovereignty. Italy announced the operation last week, saying it had been requested by Libya's U.N.-backed government. It initially hoped to send six ships into Libyan territorial waters, but the plans had to be scaled back following protests from Tripoli.
Libya Resumes Oil Exports from Some Major Ports
Libya is resuming oil exports from some of its main ports which forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar seized in recent days and has lifted related "force majeuere" contractual clauses, the National Oil Corporation said on Thursday. The north African nation is highly dependent on hydrocarbon revenues and needs oil exports to resume to save its economy from collapse. Conflict since Libya's 2011 uprising has reduced its oil output to a fraction of the 1.6 million barrels per day the OPEC member once produced. "Exports will resume immediately from Zueitina and Ras Lanuf, and will continue at Brega ... exports will resume from Es Sider as soon as possible," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.
Libya Exports First Oil Cargo From Ras Lanuf Since 2014
An oil tanker left the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf for Italy early on Wednesday with the first crude export cargo from the terminal since at least late 2014, boosting hopes of reviving Libya's battered oil output. The port manager of Ras Lanuf said a second tanker was preparing to load at the terminal, one of four seized on Sept. 11-12 by eastern Libyan forces loyal to military leader Khalifa Haftar. Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has welcomed a promise by Haftar's forces to allow the NOC to control the ports.
Migrant Boat Capsizes off Libya, Dozens Feared Dead
Most on board boat believed to be Pakistanis;ten bodies so far recovered, three survivors found. An estimated 90 migrants are feared to have drowned off the coast of Libya after a smuggler's boat capsized early on Friday, leaving three known survivors and 10 bodies washed up on shore, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said. Survivors told aid workers that most of the migrants on board were Pakistanis, who form a growing group heading to Italy from North Africa, IOM spokeswoman Olivia Headon said. "They have given an estimate of 90 people who drowned during the capsize, but we still need to verify the exact number of people who lost their lives during the tragedy," Headon, speaking from Tunis, told a Geneva news briefing.
Nearly 11,000 Migrants Rescued in Last 48 hours off Libya
Many bodies found in the hold of one ship. More than 4,650 migrants were saved on Tuesday off the Libyan coast and 28 bodies recovered, bringing the total number of people rescued in the last 48 hours to nearly 11,000, Italy's coast guard said on Wednesday. More than 20 people were reported to have suffocated in the hold of one overloaded fishing boat, bringing the total death toll for Monday and Tuesday to 50. Italian officials said three women saved on Monday had given birth over the past 24 hours on a coast guard vessel that was bringing some 1,000 refugees to Sicily. The women and their three children were all reported to be in good health.
More than 11,000 Migrants Rescued off Libya this Week
More than 5,000 migrants were saved on Tuesday and Wednesday off the Libyan coast and 28 bodies recovered, bringing the total number of people rescued this week to more than 11,000, Italy's coast guard said. More than 20 people were reported to have suffocated in the hold of one overloaded fishing boat, bringing the total death toll for Monday and Tuesday to 50. Italian officials said three women saved on Monday had given birth over the past 24 hours on a coast guard vessel that was bringing some 1,000 refugees to Sicily. The women and their three children were all reported to be in good health. The coast guard said the 4,655 migrants rescued on Tuesday were taken from 33 overcrowded boats…
Total acquires Marathon Oil Libya
Total has acquired Marathon Oil Libya Limited which holds a 16.33% stake in the Waha Concessions in Libya. This acquisition will give Total access to reserves and resources in excess of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent, with immediate production of around 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) and a significant exploration potential across the area of 53,000 square kilometers covered by the Concessions in the prolific Sirte Basin. The consideration payment for the transaction is 450 million U.S. dollars.
23 Migrants Likely Dead on Trip from Libya to Italy
The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that 21 migrants were missing, and had probably drowned, after two boats, a rubber dinghy and a wooden boat, set off from Libya for Italy and had to be rescued. IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva that all 132 people on the rubber dinghy had been rescued, but 21 were missing from the 51 on the wooden boat, and two dead infants had reportedly been discovered on board, bringing the likely death toll to 23. Reporting by Tom Miles
Libya Seizes Tanker Suspected of Fuel Smuggling
Libya's naval forces seized a Togo-flagged fuel tanker and arrested its Greek crew on suspicion they planned to smuggle oil out of the North African country, a spokesman for the forces said on Thursday. Libya's western coast is a departure point for the smuggling of heavily subsidised gasoline to neighbours such as Tunisia and Malta, where retail prices are much higher. "The naval forces seized a Togo-flagged oil tanker in the territorial waters without permissions from the state of Libya. It has the name LAMAR," naval forces spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters.
Libya Cracking Down on Fuel Smuggling
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) is considering using a chemical marking system to help trace oil products smuggled out of the country, its chairman said on Wednesday. Mustafa Sanalla also called on a European Union naval mission to combat smugglers by seizing their ships in the Mediterranean, said the United Nations should consider sanctioning smugglers, and urged Libya to reform massive subsidies that allow fuel to be sold for as little as 2-3 U.S. cents per liter. "The fuel smugglers and thieves have permeated not only the militias which control much of Libya…
Tanker Docks at Libya's Es Sider Port to Load First Crude Cargo in Two Years
An oil tanker docked at the east Libyan port of Es Sider on Monday to load the first cargo of crude since the terminal reopened following a two-year closure, port officials said. Es Sider, Libya's biggest export terminal, had been shut due to a blockade by a military faction since 2014. It reopened in mid September, but repairs were needed before tankers could load at the port, and its capacity remains far below its pre-conflict level of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd). Es Sider is one of four ports seized in September by forces loyal to east Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, which allowed Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) to reopen them, doubling national production to about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd).