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Libya: IS militants continue attacks on oil reserves

Libya: IS militants continue attacks on oil reserves


IS militants continued their offensive attacks against oil terminals in the North of Libya for the second consecutive day near the main oil terminals at al-Sedra, Ras Lanouf and Brega.

The attacks have made Libya’s state-owned oil company issue a “cry for help” on Tuesday after the Islamic group militia attacked oil tanks near Es Sider, the largest oil reserve in the North of Libya. An oil tank was set ablaze by a long-range rocket that left 2 guards killed and injured 16. The port had been closed for a year after it was attacked by a group of fighters during the Arabic revolution.

These attacks are seen as ways of ISIS getting control of oil reserves for financial gains. This has also been witnessed in Syria and Iraq but their operations have been undermined by repeated air strikes from Russia, France, USA among other European nations.

After the ousting of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been torn into civil war that has lead to loss of thousands of lives. Two opposing powers in Libya, one based in the East and the other in Tripoli have been involved in a series of confrontations. Both are seen to be competing to have control of oil and leadership of Libya.

Libya, with Africa’s largest oil reserves, produced about 1.6 million barrels a day of crude before the ousting of Muammar Al Gaddafi during the Arab spring.

But the war has succumbed Libya to be the lowest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.Data compiled by Bloomberg Surveillance shows that Libya was producing 370,000 barrels a day by December 2015.