Oil prices leap up as concerns over fight in Libya’s oil crescent region mount

A general view shows Libya's El Sharara oilfield. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
A general view shows Libya’s El Sharara oilfield. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Crude-oil prices recovered losses in early Asian trade on news that military conflicts in Libya had affected its oil exports over the weekend.

The Petroleum Facilities Guards, a militia that until this month had controlled Libya’s oil ports for years after the 2011 ouster and death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, briefly retook two oil ports, Sidra and Ras Lanuf, in the country’s central coast on Saturday night, militia members said.

The guards were forced out again on Sunday by the Libyan National Army, a militia that had pledged to reopen the ports for exports.

“The oil market is reacting to that news, but keep in mind this could be just a temporary setback and a blip in the market,” said Vyanne Lai, energy analyst at National Australia Bank.

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