News / Middle East

Libyan Government Threatens Army Action if Protesters Sell Oil

FILIE - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a joint news conference with Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi at the Prime Minister's Office in Tripoli, July 31, 2013.
FILIE - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a joint news conference with Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi at the Prime Minister's Office in Tripoli, July 31, 2013.
Reuters
Libya will use all means, including military force if necessary, to prevent striking security guards at the country's main ports from selling its crude oil independently, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said on Thursday.
 
In a critical challenge to the government, strikes at Libya's two largest ports have pushed production and exports, the lifeblood of the north African country's economy, to their lowest levels since the civil war that ousted veteran leader Moammer Gadhafi in 2011.
 
Zeidan said that the leader of the protesters, Ibrahim al-Jathran, who is the regional head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, wanted to sell the oil independently of Libya's state  National Oil Corp.
 
“The head of the protesters wants to export oil for their own group, they do not want to make concessions,” Zeidan told a news conference.
 
“If any tanker comes to the port to pick up oil then we will use any means to stop it,” he said. This could involve the army, navy or air force, he added.
 
Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said all ports were shut except for Zawiya in the west. “Libya has lost $1.6 billion in oil sales since July 25 until today,” al-Arusi said.
 
His deputy, Omar Shakmak, said earlier on Thursday that negotiations to resume exports from Es Sider, the country's biggest crude oil terminal, had failed.
 
No comment was immediately available from the protesters, who have not publicly threatened to sell oil independently.
 
The protests are located mainly in the eastern portion of Libya. At the major sites, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the strikes began with armed security guards asking for higher pay. The two ports have a combined export capacity of just under 600,000 barrels per day, out of Libya's total of just over 1.2 million bpd.
 
The outages have been a major factor in pushing up world oil prices, with benchmark Brent futures hitting a four-month high of around $111 a barrel on Thursday.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid