Fire at E. Libya oil-storage facility spreads

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) urged the country's warring factions to keep the fighting far from the source of "Libyans' livelihood"

Fire at E. Libya oil-storage facility spreads
World Bulletin / News Desk
 A fire that broke out at an oil-storage facility in eastern Libya on Thursday after being struck by a rocket spread to two other facilities on Friday.

In response, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) urged the country's warring factions to keep the fighting far from the source of "Libyans' livelihood."

"The fire consumed three tanks of crude oil in the eastern port of Sidra after spreading from the first tank, which was struck on Thursday by a rocket-propelled grenade," a Libyan oil sector official, who requested anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.

He refrained from providing any more details, but warned that the fire could spread to the rest of the port and possibly lead to an "environmental disaster."

The official added: "The rockets were part of the ongoing conflict taking place near Sidra's 'oil crescent' region, which began when members of the Islamist Dawn of Libya militia – coming from the northwestern city of Misurata – launched an attack on the region's oil fields."

Earlier this month, the NOC halted operations at the country's two largest oil ports – Sidra and Ras Lanuf – following clashes between forces loyal to Libya's two rival governments.

Major oil facilities affiliated with the ports also halted operations, while the NOC ordered operating companies to evacuate their personnel.

Forces loyal to Libya's Tripoli-based government then launched an operation to "liberate oil fields and ports from the hands of the outlaws," according to a statement.

They later claimed to have captured Sidra, the country's largest oil export terminal.

In the three years since Muammar Qaddafi's ouster and death, rival militias have often locked horns, frequently bringing violence to Libya's main cities, especially capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

The Libyan government, meanwhile, has appeared largely absent from the scene.

The sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions.

Two assemblies currently vie for legislative authority: the House of Representatives, which convenes in the eastern city of Tobruk; and the General National Congress, which – even though its mandate ended in August – continues to convene in Tripoli.

The two parliaments support two different governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Aralık 2014, 18:04