Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government has taken decision to open up parts of two protected national parks Virunga and Salonga, habitat to endangered species such as mountain gorillas, to oil drilling.
Lifting of the protection of endangered species habitat evoked fierce opposition from environmental activists, who say drilling would place wildlife at risk. Many blame irresponsible attitude to the national parks to a weak democratic institutions in Congo, unable to protect the UNESCO protected sites in favor of oil industry.
Experts also fear it will release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
DCR government has defended its right to manage resources of Congo, and said it was mindful of protecting animals and plants in the two UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Cabinet said it had approved the establishment of commissions charged with preparing plans to declassify sections of the parks, including 1,720 sq km (664 sq miles), or 21.5% , of eastern Congo’s Virunga.
Libya’s Sharara oil field stopped extracting crude oil several days after output plunged at another of the OPEC member’s biggest deposits.
The halt resulted from the closing of a pipeline from Sharara to the Zawiya refinery, according to experts opinion. Sharara stopped production on Sunday (4/03/2018), according to Maghrebin sources. Libya had been pumping 1.1 million barrels a day as of March 1, with Sharara contributing 300,000 of that. The field is run by a joint venture between the National Oil Corp. and Repsol SA
, Total SA
, OMV AG and Statoil ASA.
Armed men exploded a pipeline pumping crude oil to Es Sider port, cutting Libya’s output by up to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), military and industry sources claimed.
The state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in statement output had been reduced by 70,000-100,000 bpd. The cause of the blast was unclear, it added.
The attackers arrived at the site near Marada in two cars and planted explosives on the pipeline, a military source said.
Pictures purportedly showing a huge cloud from the blast in central eastern Libya circulated on social media.
The damage was still being assessed, one oil source said. Oil prices rose on the report.
Islamic State fighters had a presence in the area until government forces expelled them from their main stronghold in Sirte a year ago.
The operator of the pipeline is Waha, a subsidiary of the NOC and a joint venture with Hess Corp, Marathon Oil Corp and ConocoPhillips.