News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Preparing to Export Oil

An undated handout file picture made available by the Italian oil and gas company, Eni, shows the new Eni gas compression plant on the shore of Mellitah, Libya (file photo)
An undated handout file picture made available by the Italian oil and gas company, Eni, shows the new Eni gas compression plant on the shore of Mellitah, Libya (file photo)

Libya's rebels are about to export their first oil shipment under a deal with Qatar to market crude from eastern Libya.

The Libyan opposition provisional national council is on the verge of gaining a key source of revenue as it prepares to begin shipping oil from the eastern port of Marsa al Hariga.  

An oil tanker arrived Tuesday to take delivery of the first shipment.

Most of Libya's oil fields are in rebel-controlled territory, but production has slowed to a trickle due to the political and military conflict.  A rebel spokesman said recently that the provisional council was hoping to increase production from 150,000 barrels per day to 300,000 barrels per day.

Al Jazeera TV reported Tuesday that fighting on the fringes of several eastern Libyan oil fields was endangering production facilities.  It said forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had cut power to the Serir oil field and had arrested some employees at the Mesila field.  Unconfirmed reports Monday spoke of artillery fire from pro-Gadhafi forces on both oil fields, but there was no confirmation of damage.

The government of Qatar has agreed to help the rebels market crude oil from eastern Libya.  The opposition needs hard currency and weapons to fight Gadhafi loyalists.  Qatar, France and Italy, Libya's former colonial power, have recognized the rebels as the country's legitimate government.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, says both Libya's strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea and the country's oil and gas reserves make it a prize for international rivals:

He says that Libya is the gate to sub-Saharan Africa, and that oil is one of two key interests. The first, he says, is geo-political, and the second is oil and gas, because Libyan oil is among the least expensive to extract and among the best in terms of quality.  He says there may also be untapped oil fields that oil companies know about and are hoping to compete for.

Abou Diab says Italy, Britain and France all want to protect their interests in Libya, as do China and Russia.  He notes Libya returned U.S. oil concessions several years ago when political ties were restored.  The French oil conglomerate Total has important oil interests in eastern Libya, and Italy has an important gas pipeline from the town of Brega.

Current fighting between Gadhafi loyalists and rebel forces has paralyzed Brega and the neighboring oil facility town of Ras Lanouf.

In western Libya, gasoline is reported to be in short supply and recently-imposed U.N. economic sanctions are crippling the economy.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid