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Rocket hits tank at Libya’s biggest oil port

Rocket hits tank at Libya’s biggest oil port thumbnail

A rocket set a storage tank at the eastern Libyan oil of port Es Sider on fire as armed factions allied to competing governments fought for control of the country’s biggest export terminal, officials from both sides said on Thursday.

Clashes were also reported from Sirte, a city west of Es Sider, killing up to 19, among them 14 guards at a power plant, residents said. No more details were available.

Es Sider and its adjacent Ras Lanuf terminal have been closed since a force allied to a rival government in Tripoli moved east trying to take them, part of a struggle between former rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now fight for power and a share of oil reserves.

Libya has had two governments and parliaments since a group called Libya Dawn seized the capital in August by expelling a rival faction, installing its own prime minister and forcing the recognized premier, Abdullah al-Thinni, to operate out of the east with the elected House of Representatives.

Thinni accuses Libya Dawn of relying on Islamists. The Tripoli-based government says Thinni’s forces have allied themselves with former Gaddafi officers such as ex-general Khalifa Haftar.

Ali Hassi, spokesman for a security service allied to Thinni’s internationally-recognized government, said the rival force tried taking the Es Sider with speedboats, opening fire on an oil tank.

Ismail al-Shukri, spokesman for the rival force, said it had launched a new push to take the ports but denied it had sent boats or shot at any storage tanks. He blamed the other side, saying aircraft had attacked the tank.

“A tank was hit but the damage is limited,” said Hassi, adding that the advance had been stopped with aircraft and ground troops. Clashes were also reported in Ben Jawad west of Es Sider.

An oil ministry official said the storage tank was still on fire. Smoke could be seen on pictures posted on social media websites and described as showing the port.

The fighting has reduced Libya’s crude output to 352,000 barrels a day, a spokesman for state National Oil Corp said. Only the Brega, Sarir, Messla and offshore operations were still producing, he said. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports had been processing an estimated 300,000 bpd.



6 Comments on "Rocket hits tank at Libya’s biggest oil port"

  1. marko on Sat, 27th Dec 2014 11:25 am 

    This is news which will bring down the price of crude for 5- 10$.
    What a madness
    Print baby print

  2. Makati1 on Sat, 27th Dec 2014 6:35 pm 

    And the (war drum) beat goes on…

  3. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 2:37 am 

    Cool. Rockets, terrorists, and industrial oil tanks. I need more popcorn for this movie.

  4. peakyeast on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 6:21 am 

    I suppose this is what they call above ground factors.

    These are the threat against a controlled decline. – And it does not look like we are getting fewer of them – but rather a lot more.

  5. bobinget on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 9:42 am 

    Latest up-dates on the ongoing Libyan civil war;

    Forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized government carried out their first air strikes Sunday against militia-held third city Misrata, a spokesman said.

    Colonel Ahmed Mesmari said the strikes were in response to a renewed attempt by the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia on Sunday morning to seize the key Al-Sidra oil export terminal.

    Residents said the air strikes hit the school of aviation close to Misrata airport, the port and a steel plant.

    There were no immediate reports of casualties.

    Fajr Libya has been attempting to take Al-Sidra and the nearby Ras Lanuf terminal since Thursday when it killed at least 22 soldiers in a surprise attack by speedboat.

    SEVEN of the 19 oil tanks at Al-Sidra were ablaze on Sunday as a result of the fighting, an oil official said.

    Since clashes first erupted around the export terminals on Dec. 13, Libya’s oil production has dropped to less than 350,000 barrels per day compared with 800,000 previously, according to industry experts.

  6. bobinget on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 9:53 am 

    Libya, now the new Syria.

    Losing Libyan exports for an indefinite period will have devastating effects on Western Europe this winter.
    Putin (and China) now have Europe (and US/KSA) exactly where they planned, all along.

    With Nigerian production almost exclusively offshore, don’t bother looking for additional exports.

    Venezuelan production, lagging Chinese debt service.

    Before Putin in finished with Royal Saudis they will
    be safely ensconced in Paris, London and NYC.

    New York Bans Fracking. (recent headline)

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