The head of Libya’s internationally recognized government resigned, just hours after the United Nations opened peace talks meant to end the civil war in the holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves. Abdullah al-Thinni, who heads the government in eastern Libya, said on a television program Tuesday that he will quit all his official posts. An official resignation will be submitted to parliament on Sunday.
Libya’s new head of the state oil company for the eastern region is considering ending force majeure at the North African nation’s two largest ports and will seek to boost crude output.
Libya has become a major headache for European oil companies as a four-year conflict forced BP Plc to join Total SA in writing off millions of dollars in investments in the North African country. BP on Tuesday said it had taken an impairment of almost $600 million in the second quarter as fighting forced it to suspend an oil exploration campaign. The unexpected charge was the main reason BP’s earnings fell short of analysts’ estimates. “It’s just hard for us to get something done there right now,” Chief executive officer Bob Dudley told reporters in London. BP is aware that other oil companies have written off their Libyan assets, while “some of them haven’t,” he said.
Italy’s Foreign Minister said “prudence and discretion” were essential as the country attempts to bring four kidnapped oil workers home from Libya. The families of four men have been in an anxious wait for news after they were taken near to an industrial complex owned by energy company Eni in the western city of Mellitah. Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said: "Prudence and discretion....are needed to bring home our four countrymen.
The son of a worker kidnapped in Libya has spoken of his shock at the incident. The man's father Fausto Piano was taken earlier this week along with his three colleagues Gino Pollicardo, Salvatore Failla and Filippo Calcagno. The men, who work for Bonatti construction company, were kidnapped near an industrial complex owned by energy company Eni in the western city of Mellitah.
Four Italian workers have been kidnapped in Libya. The incident happened near an industrial complex owned by energy company Eni in the western city of Mellitah. The Italian Foreign Ministry said the employees had been kidnapped on Sunday.
Libya has lifted force majeure at the major Ras Lanuf oil terminal, though restarting exports would take at least two days depending on available crude, a spokesman for the National Oil Corporation said on Tuesday. Restarting Ras Lanuf would be a major boost for Libya's crippled oil industry. The terminal, along with another major eastern oil port Es Sider, has been under force majeure since December last year due to fighting between rival factions,
Islamic State strengthened its hold in central Libya, taking territory near Libya’s largest oil terminal and repelling efforts by militias to halt its advance. The jihadist group had been tightening its grip on Sirte over recent months. It claimed on Tuesday to have finally succeeded in taking Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown, after overrunning a nearby power station. Islamic State already controls the desert town of Naufaliya, about 30 miles from Libya’s largest export terminal of Es Sider and neighboring Ras Lanuf, the third-largest. Controlling Sirte helps cement those positions on the west side of the so-called Sirte Basin, which is home to about 70 percent of the country’s crude reserves.
A manager in working for Libya's Mellitah has been kidnapped, according to reports. The staff member, working for the consortium, which is owned by state oil firm NOC and Italy's ENI, was taken earlier this week. Mellitah operates a complex in Libya which exports oil and gas as well as the Wafa and El Feel oilfields.
Eni has made a second discovery at its exploration prospect off the coast of Libya. The company said it had made a natural gas and condensate discovery about 85 miles away form the coastline.
Warplanes deployed by Libya’s internationally recognized government bombed an oil tanker at a terminal controlled by the nation’s rival Islamist leaders, killing one person, the regional coastguard commander said. The Anwaar Afriqya, carrying fuel from Greece, was attacked while anchored to offload the cargo for a power plant in the coastal region of Sirte, Rida Issa said in a telephone interview.
A Libyan oilfield has been forced to close after a strike by a security guards over salary payments. The state oil firm NOC said the staff members were unhappy about the delay, but said the security forces had been paid although they hadn't paid their guards yet. The El Feel oilfield had only just restarted production after a pipeline had been blocked for months.
Libya’s elected government said it is opening an overseas bank account for crude revenue to bypass rival Islamist authorities in the capital, adding uncertainty to the North African country’s efforts to boost exports. “This measure is meant to ensure liquidity for the government without going through the central bank in Tripoli,” Fathallah Al-Suhaiti, chairman of the elected parliament’s national security and defense committee, said Tuesday by phone from Tobruk in eastern Libya. Libya, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, has been split since last year when a coalition of Islamist militias captured Tripoli, forcing the elected government to move to the eastern region. The conflict has damaged or shut oil fields, pipelines and ports, reducing the nation’s crude output to no more than 600,000 barrels a day. Libya pumped almost 1.6 million barrels before the 2011 rebellion that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule.
Oil workers who were freed after being abducted more than a month ago in Libya have returned home. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the Bangladeshi men had since rejoined their families in their village. The men, Muhammad Helal Uddin, 46, and Muhammad Anowar Hossain, 39, said they were freed after their captors had confirmed they were both Muslims.
An oil worker taken hostage by militants in Libya last month has since been released, however six employees are still unaccounted for. It comes after it was revealed two Bangladeshi citizens had also been freed. The Ghanian’s release is believed to have been at the same time, according to his company, Value Added Oilfield Services (VAOS).
Oil workers have been released after being taken hostage 18 days ago in Libya, according to reports. Two Bangladeshi workers who were kidnapped along with seven others from an oilfield in Libya were freed and taken to a hospital on the south coast of the country.
A second Bangladeshi has been named from among a group of foreign workers taken hostage last week by the Islamic State militant group in an attack on a Libyan oilfield. As many as 10 people are missing after the attack on the Al-Ghani oilfield south of the city of Sirte, Czech and Libyan officials have said.
Islamic State militants in Libya seized a group of foreigners at the al-Ghani oilfield last week, a spokesman for the Austrian foreign ministry said today. "Secure information" revealed they were alive when taken, he added.
Libya’s state-run oil company warned that it would shut production at all fields if authorities in the divided nation fail to contain an escalation of attacks on facilities that cut crude output to a year-low. “If these incidents continue, National Oil Corp. will regrettably be forced to stop all operations at all fields in order to preserve the lives” of employees, the company said in a statement. “National Oil Corp. urges the Ministry of Defense and the Petroleum Facilities Guard to take the appropriate measures to protect oil sites.” The North African nation’s oil production was reduced by 180,000 barrels a day after a fire at a pipeline that carries crude to the eastern Hariga port, National Oil spokesman Mohamed Elharari said by phone in Tripoli. Hariga, near Tobruk, has oil left in storage for exports and the last ship to load there was the Greek-flagged Minerva Zoe, he said.
Fighter jets dispatched by Libya’s internationally recognised government bombed a Greek-owned tanker ship at an eastern city controlled by Islamist extremists, killing two crew members and wounding two, Libyan and Greek officials said. The bombing highlights the chaos that has gripped Libya since its 2011 civil war that deposed and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libyan officials apologised for the bombing as the Greek foreign ministry demanded compensation for the victims’ families and punishment for those behind the attack.
Wintershall has suspended onshore production in Libya until further notice following unrest in the country. The company said it had taken the decision following armed hostilities which had taken place at more oil export facilities. The Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) had declared Force Majeure in mid-December.
Libyan oil production has fallen below 300,000 barrels a day after Islamist militants shifted attacks to energy facilities including the country’s largest oil export terminal, said Energy Aspects Ltd. Output is the lowest since May and down at least 65% from a recent high of 850,000 barrels a day in October following the assault on the Es Sider terminal, according to the Energy Aspects estimate. Libya holds Africa’s largest oil reserves. The fighting last week marked a turning point in the unrest that followed Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule, according to Energy Aspects and Eurasia Group consultants.
Libya extinguished fires at three of five oil-storage tanks that started last week at its largest oil port, helping global crude prices to stabilize. Libya is still seeking international assistance because of possible environmental damage, said Ali al-Hasy, a spokesman for the Petroleum Facilities Guard, part of the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. Es Sider has tanks with a capacity of 6.2 million barrels of oil, compared with current Libyan output of 352,000 barrels, according to National Oil Corp.
Oil advanced for the first time in three days amid speculation that an escalating conflict in Libya will help ease a global supply surplus that’s driven crude into a bear market. Brent futures rose as much as 1.6% in London. Fires have been extinguished at three of five tanks at Es Sider, Libya’s largest oil port, which were set ablaze after an attack by militants, said Ali al-Hasy, a spokesman for the Petroleum Facilities Guard. Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi called on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output to boost prices.
The force defending oil ports in eastern Libya pushed back an onslaught that Islamist militias had started 11 days ago to capture the facilities. “We pushed them back and it’s we who are now attacking them,” Ali al-Hasy, a spokesman of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, said by phone from Es Sider, Libya’s largest oil port. “The oil ports are safe and they suffered no damage. All the fighting took place well outside the ports.”