News / Europe

    Oil Firms Pull Workers Out of Libya

    BP PLC's CEO Bob Dudley during a results media conference at their headquarters in London (File Photo)
    BP PLC's CEO Bob Dudley during a results media conference at their headquarters in London (File Photo)

    World oil prices rose sharply on Monday as violence in Libya sparked worries that energy supplies could be disrupted.  The price of Brent crude oil in London, the benchmark for much of the world, jumped more than two percent to hit its highest price since 2008.  The unrest prompted some major oil companies to start pulling their workers out of Libya as clashes between protesters and government security forces escalate.

    Britain-based BP says it has stopped its onshore drilling preparations in Libya and is evacuating its expatriate staff along with their dependents.

    Speaking on Monday, BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley said the company is closely watching how events progress.

    “We have operations there that are very, very limited, it’s the early stages of exploration," he said. "We have some people there. Dependants have left the country. We remain committed to doing business there but again we, like everyone, is watching this very carefully."

    BP is not the only major oil firm reacting to rising unrest in the North African country. Shell has relocated the dependents of expatriate staff and Norwegian Statoil has closed its office in the capital Tripoli.

    The moves came as unrest in Libya escalated on Monday, spreading to the capital Tripoli. According to the international campaign group Human Rights Watch over 200 people have died since last Thursday.

    The unrest follows major revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, which toppled both countries’ longtime rulers.

    David Wech, an analyst with the Vienna based energy consultancy JBC Energy, says the situation in Libya has a much more significant impact on the oil market than other revolts in the region.

    "I mean it's definitely more important than what's happened in Tunisia," said Wech. "Egypt was of relevance as well in terms of a transit country but in terms of oil production it's clearly Libya that's most important."

    Libya is the world’s twelfth largest oil exporter. According to the International Energy Agency it produces around 1.6 million barrels of crude a day, around 2% of global oil demand.

    Lech says the long term effects of the current situation shouldn’t be major.

    But Christopher Davidson from Britain’s Durham University, says oil may have a major impact on the domestic political situation in Libya.

    On Monday, one of leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons addressed the nation and warned that civil war could result in Libya’s oil being burned by “thugs, criminals, gangs, and tribes.”

    Davidson says the departure of the oil companies is bad news for Libya’s leadership.

    "It's not particularly bad news for the opposition. I think the opposition see this as necessary and inevitable," said Davidson. "They have to have Libya purged really of any companies or influences that have sided and propped up Gadhafi. However I'm sure any new democratic administration in Libya will be quite realistic and will know it has to bring back the multinational concessions because Libya needs a technology transfer."

    BP signed an oil deal with Libya in 2007 worth at least $900 million.

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    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-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora