Haftar’s warplanes strike Libya’s Al-Zawiya oil refinery

Libya’s Al-Zawiya oil refinery operating in half capacity. [Photo: Social Media]
Libya’s oil infrastructure has once again found itself in the crosshairs of the country’s prolonged civil conflict between the UN-backed Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

The country’s 120,000 b/d Al-Zawiya refinery was the target of an airstrike Friday and state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed that sites near the oil storage facility operated by Al-Zawiya refinery were hit by a bomb on Friday.

A source close to the matter said, however, that operations at the refinery were not affected by the strikes.

NOC said the airstrike targeted a storage warehouse west of Al-Zawiya refinery gate but no casualties were reported.

“Targeting the refinery is a war crime. If the refinery is damaged it will deprive vital facilities including hospitals, and power and desalination plants of fuel,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.

“It will require additional gasoline and diesel imports, costing the Libyan people tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. The repetition of these absurd actions will lead to human and material losses and environmental disasters.”

Oil infrastructure in western Libya is a key risk, especially the town of Al-Zawiya, which is home to a 300,000 b/d export terminal and a 120,000 b/d refinery, along with Sabratha, where the Mellitah gas and condensate terminal is located. In late-November, Libya’s El Feel field in the southwest of the country was briefly shut due to military action around the facility.

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