Libyan National Oil Company plans loading oil at IS-attacked oil port
Wall Street Journal
Libya’s National Oil Co. is trying to load oil stored at the eastern Ras Lanuf port for thefirst time since 2014, the country’s oil officials said Monday after a new attack was thwarted at another terminal.
The news come after Ras Lanuf, along with the neighboring Es Sider port, wererepeatedly attacked last week by the radical militant group Islamic State, which set on fire as many as seven oil storage tanks. The fires were extinguished over the weekend.
Late Sunday, members of the extremist group traveling by boat also shot at the Zueitina terminal, said Ali al-Hassi, the spokesman for the Petroleum Facilities Guard. The attack on the port, which is located east of Ras Lanuf, was unsuccessful, he said.
The Greek tanker Nassau Energy has been instructed to load crude oil stored at Ras Lanuf though it is unclear if security conditions will allow the operation, National Oil Co. officials said. The vessel is offshore Ras Lanuf and heading to the port, according to shipping-tracking websites FleetMon and Marine Traffic.
A National Oil Co. spokesman couldn’t be reached. An official with the tanker’s owner LL Energy SA declined to comment.
Libya’s oil industry has been crippled by violence from Islamic State and from sabotage and attacks related to a conflict between militias vying for power in the country. Libya is producing about 400,000 barrels a day, about a third of its normal capacity.
Libyan officials said much of the crude would be refined at the Zawiya refinery in western Libya, with the remaining quantities exported abroad.
Other officials have previously said the terminals still held millions of barrels of crude in storage though it is unclear how much remains following the attacks.