Renewed war in Libya could risk oil production, export

With Libya heading back towards civil war the global oil sector could suffer too along with its civilians. The output and exports of crude could be at risk.

The country was expected to export more oil in April than it has done since 2011 when Mohammar Qaddafi was oust, but plans are falling apart.

The Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army controls eastern and southern parts of the OPEC oil producing nation. Lately the army has marched towards capital city Tripoli to grab control and well armed, battle-hardened local militias have vowed to stop the wave.

United States and several countries have appealed both the sides to end fight and sit for negotiations over issues.

Libya’s biggest oil field, Sharara, is about 700 kilometers south of the capital city and most of the other oil fields are located far to the east. The current output is about 300,000 barrels a day.

The oil is exported from Sharara through the Zawiya terminal, which is about 50 kilometers west of Tripoli and if Hartar is looking ahead to control whole of the country, he could secure the oil facility too and cut oil flows in the process.

The country was expected to export more oil in April than it has done since 2011 when Mohammar Qaddafi was oust, but plans are falling apart.

More to this, if the fight continues longer the output could be impacted as it was done about a decade ago when clashes between rival militias damaged the facilities.

The facilities will be more at risk if the fighters who are guarding the oil fields and the facilities is pulled away. The ISIS cells could attack and gain control on those.

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Paul Linus