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Page added on December 28, 2014

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Fire spreads at Libyan oil terminal

Fire spreads at Libyan oil terminal thumbnail

Volunteer fighters struggle to stave off flames after rocket attack by Fajr Libya consumes increasing number of tankers.

The national fire department has refused to assist, prompting volunteer firefighters to come forward [Reuters]
Two full oil tanks have caught fire at one of Libya’s main oil terminals after a rocket attack, officials said as the UN denounced attacks on oil installations.

The rocket was fired on Thursday by fighters from Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn), a coalition of Islamist fighters.

One oil tank was hit on Saturday, the region’s security spokesman Ali al-Hassi said, at Al-Sidra, which is in the eastern region known as the “oil crescent” and home to other key terminals.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement that it “strongly condemns” attacks on Libya’s oil installations.

“The mission warns of the environmental and economic consequences as a result of this violence and destruction in the oil crescent area, and urges the forces on the ground to cooperate in order to allow the fire crews to extinguish the blaze,” it said.

Volunteer firefighters

Hassi said the national fire department refused to extinguish the fires, prompting volunteer firefighters to come forward to fight the flames with the help of oil installation guards.

“They are doing their best to extinguish the fire and are working under difficult conditions,” Hassi said.

A technician for Waha, the company responsible for running al-Sidra, said there are 19 storage tanks at the terminal with a total capacity of 6.2 million barrels of oil.

The source, who declined to be named, estimated the amount of crude lost to the fire so far at more than 1.6 million barrels.

In its statement, UNSMIL called attacks on oil installations a “clear violation” of UN Security Council resolutions on Libya.

“Libyan oil belongs to all the Libyan people and is the country’s economic lifeline,” it said, urging all sides to “desist from any action that endangers this strategic national asset”.



8 Comments on "Fire spreads at Libyan oil terminal"

  1. Apneaman on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 3:45 pm 

    I bet the State Department never had this in mind when they decided Qaddafi had to go. I seem to remember reading a book called “blowback” a number of years ago that showed how it is the rule, not the exception. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Best of TomDispatch: Chalmers Johnson, The CIA and a Blowback World,_the_cia_and_a_blowback_world/

  2. penury on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 3:49 pm 

    Has anyone noticed that you can destroy houses with women and children inside, bomb schools, use drones to murder people anywhere in the world and the U.N. remains quiet and placid, then someone destroys an oil tank full of oil and Americas friend at the U.N. Ban jumps up and starts crying foul. Guess that oil means more than people.

  3. ghung on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 3:55 pm 

    “Guess that oil means more than people.”

    No oil; no people, eh?

  4. wildbourgman on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 4:14 pm 

    It’s events like this can change the low oil price story rather quickly. I’m still thinking oil stays rather low for a while, but the news can change things in a blink.

  5. Plantagenet on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 4:35 pm 

    obama’s war in Libya hasn’t worked out so great. It makes me wonder why obama jumped to start new wars in Iraq and Syria when he did such a piss poor job in Libya.

  6. GregT on Sun, 28th Dec 2014 8:36 pm 

    The war in Libya was planned far in advance of Obama’s installation in the White House. The people behind the scenes are the same as the ones in previous administrations. The wars in Iraq, Syria, and Iran have been in the works for a long time as well.

    Obama is not a military strategist Plant. He is a politician, AKA, an actor.

  7. Dredd on Mon, 29th Dec 2014 5:24 am 

    The new and improved way of dirty blood-oil’s price controls.

  8. bobinget on Mon, 29th Dec 2014 6:49 am 

    TV talking heads told us ‘overproduction’ is causing
    a massive (1.5%) oversupply. (one million barrels
    high estimate, 600,000 B p/d low guess)
    Now that violence, our biggest oil consumer, has taken care of any alleged ‘surplus’, Oil prices
    battles over market manipulation will continue for the following reasons.

    Inget maintained for months, this ‘oversupply’
    was temporary. I offered opinions as to why.

    My main thrust, not since the second world war has the world seen so many economic war refugees.
    Tens of millions in Africa, as many as six million in
    the Mideast.

    In 1948 Israel expelled a Half Million
    indigenous peoples from Palestine.
    Generations later a Mideast has yet to recover.

    My premise, when Muslim countries, OPEC leaders, Iran and Saudi Arabia, mortal enemies,
    dialectical opposed on deeply held religious and
    economic ground, no agreements could hold.

    Factor in “Arab Spring”, “Social Media” Saudi intransigence,too many high tech weapons,
    dozens of Islamic, al Qaeda spawned, Saudi financed so called ‘terrorist’ movements, last but most feared, Nuclear tipped Pakistan headed directly, do not stop go, to failed state status.

    Without Saudi Arabia’s oil Egypt too fails.

    Libya’s situation, just in the last few days,
    augurs absolute collapse ending in IS dominance,
    continued death, destruction. IOW’s Syria, 2.0

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