News / Middle East

Oil Official: Libya's Hariga Port to Resume Exports Within Days

FILE - A view of pipelines and a loading berth of the Marsa al Hariga oil port in the city of Tobruk, east of Tripoli, Libya.
FILE - A view of pipelines and a loading berth of the Marsa al Hariga oil port in the city of Tobruk, east of Tripoli, Libya.
Reuters
— Libya's eastern Hariga port will resume oil exports within days after protesters agreed to end a four-month blockage, an oil official said on Friday.
 
A reopening would be a victory for Prime Minister Ali Zeidan who has been trying to end such blockades, which have reduced Libya's oil output to 250,000 bpd from 1.4 million bpd in July, cutting much needed revenue for rebuilding the state.
 
The protesters in the east, which was the cradle of the revolt that ousted veteran leader Moammer Gadhafi, also have their own victory, of sorts, as Libyan authorities are building a new oil headquarters there, moving it from the capital Tripoli in the west, to appease their calls for greater autonomy.
 
Tribesmen and other protesters have occupied Hariga, located in Tobruk in the far east of Libya, since August to press their financial and autonomy demands despite several government attempts to reopen the terminal.
 
It has an export capacity of 110,000 barrels per day and also serves the Tobruk oil refinery.
 
There was no immediate confirmation from the government which has repeatedly announced Hariga would reopen. But in a  sign of progress, state National Oil Corp (NOC) said last week the 20,000 barrels a day-Tobruk refinery had resumed work.
 
Mohamed Ben Shatwan, head of Arabian Gulf Oil Co (AGOCO) operating Hariga port, told Reuters an agreement had been reached with local people to secure the port and restart the export terminal.
 
“A ship is docked at the port, and exports will resume within days,” Shatwan said in the eastern city of Benghazi, adding that oil from the Sarir field had already been pumped to the port.
 
He spoke on the sidelines of ceremony attended by senior officials to lay the foundation stone for the new NOC headquarters in Benghazi, which will move from Tripoli.

Foundation
 
Many in the east, home to much of the country's oil wealth, sympathize with port and oil strikers campaigning for a greater share of oil sales and power in the turmoil that has bedeviled Libya two-and-a-half years after Gadhafi was ousted then killed.
 
“We meet today to lay the foundation stone ... for the National Oil Corp. and other government institutions to achieve economic and social development,” Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak told the audience.
 
State-owned Libyan Airlines, the Libyan Insurance Company and the National Investment Company are also set to move to the eastern port city, which was starved of cash under Gadhafi.
 
Last week, the Tripoli government had expected a heavily-armed autonomy group in eastern Libya to lift the blockage of the Ras Lanuf, Es-Sider and Zueitina ports previously accounting for 600,000 bpd after tribal elders pressured it.
 
But autonomy leader Ibrahim Jathran declared at the last minute that talks with Tripoli to get a greater share of oil revenues for the east had failed.
 
Jathran's and other militias involved in oil strikes in the east and other parts of the country helped topple Gadhafi in 2011 but have kept their weapons, fuelling concerns about instability in the North African country.
 
The NOC ceremony came as gunmen assassinated one air force officer in another part of Benghazi while he was leaving a mosque after Friday prayers, a security source said.
 
The security situation has sharply deteriorated in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, in the past few months.
 
Most countries closed their consulates in the city after a series of attacks and some foreign airlines have stopped flying there. The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in September 2012 during an Islamist assault on the consulate.
 
Western diplomats worry the violence in Benghazi will spill over to the capital which has also seen some clashes between militias in recent months.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid