News / Middle East

Libya Oil Output Slips, Fresh Fighting in Tripoli

Reuters

Libyan oil production has fallen, turning back a hard-won increase since April in the revenue flow for the government facing increased fighting around the airport in the capital and in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The El-Feel oilfield last week was forced to cut back due to events in Tripoli, where two rival brigades of militias have fought over control of the airport.

El-Feel, operated by state-run National Oil Corporation and Italy's ENI, is protected by security guards from the northwestern Zintan region, whose fighters also protect the airport where clashes have gone on for a week.

National Oil Company spokesman Mohamed El Harari said output as of Monday was around 450,000 bpd compared with 555,000 bpd on Thursday.

At least 47 people have died in the week-long Tripoli airport clashes, which involved artillery, Grad rockets and anti-aircraft guns, in some of the heaviest street fighting since the 2011 civil war.

Fresh fighting broke out on Monday night in Tripoli and Benghazi where armed forces and troops loyal to a renegade former army general are battling Islamist militants who have set up base there.

There were no immediate reports on casualties from Monday's fighting in Benghazi or the Qasr Ben Ghashir neighborhood near Tripoli airport where residents have been forced from their homes or trapped by the gun battles.

“There are a lot of families still stuck and not able to get out because of the intensity of the shelling and bombing, which is with all kinds of heavy weapons,” said local area mayor Mohammad Abdullah.

The clashes have stopped most international flights, damaged more than a dozen planes parked at the airport - one Airbus jet billowed black smoke after being hit on Monday - and prompted the United Nations to pull its staff out of Libya.

The airport clash reflects national divisions between two main factions: those from the western town of Zintan and their allies who are loosely tied to the National Forces Alliance political movement, and the more Islamist-leaning Misrata brigades and allied militias who side with Justice and Construction Party, a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Libya's oil resources have often been targeted by armed groups since 2011 to push the government for financial or political gain. Last year a string of protests slashed oil output to less than half the usual 1.4 million barrels per day.

A negotiated deal in April mostly ended a year-long blockade by a former rebel commander over four key oil ports, allowing Libya to slowly rebuild production, shipping crude and earning vital oil revenue.

One of Libya's ports, Brega, is expected to be operating within a “few days” after the government reached a deal with protesting security guards to end a blockade, NOC's Harari said.

According to Reuters AIS Live tanker tracking service, no tankers had loaded so far at Brega. One crude shipment left the 230,000 barrels-per-day Zawiya port, supplied by the  El Sharara oilfield, which was recently reopened. The Olympic Spirit II, carrying Aframax, crude oil, headed to the Spanish port of Bilbao having left July 20.    

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid