Tag Archives: oil

Libya: speaker Aguila Saleh rise

Brussels 03.10.2020 Libya’s oil output has risen to 270,000 bpd as the OPEC member ramps up export activity following the easing of a blockade by eastern part of the country.
On October 1 Libya’s oil terminals at Hariga, Brega, and Zueitina were open for business and welcoming tankers to ship oil, although the biggest port and the terminal typically exporting crude from the largest oilfield in the country was still under strain.

The North African nation’s National Oil Corp said it expects production to rise to around 260,000 barrels per day, or bpd, by next week, up from some 100,000 bpd before the blockade of its oil ports and oilfields lifted by Haftar’s forces at the end of last week.

Total Libyan production could reach 550,000 bpd by the end of the year and nearly a million bpd by mid-2021. All that for a country that did not export a single barrel from January due to the civil war forced by Haftar. At its peak in 2008, Libya produced nearly 1.8 million bpd.

The shifting market dynamics could force OPEC back to the drawing board, to figure out what to do with all that unexpected new supply.

Emboldened by the steady price action of the past four months, OPEC decided to roll back its cuts by two million bpd from this month, taking a gamble that the market won’t crash, as economies continue to recover from the worst of the COVID-19 disruption. AbS’ warning to oil giants that they’ll be “ouching like hell” if they try to short the market was part of a calculated campaign to defend prices.

In the complex international economic context, and Libya ongoing political crisis, the Tobruk House of Representative (HoR) Speaker, Aguila Saleh, is expected to play a major role in state-building during the coming period, amid hopes of a political settlement to the long-time crisis in the country. Moreover might play a key role in concluding new trade agreements for oil exports, preventing overproduction, and subsequent turmoil for the oil markets.

Saleh has cemented his reputation as a political heavy-weight demonstrating openness to resolve the ongoing crisis in Libya. For the international community his rise will embody the transfer of political powers in Cyrenaica from military – Marshall Khalifa Haftar leading the Libyan National Army – to civilians. The increasing influence of the role of Saleh has reflected in the decision of the European Union Council to lift the individual sanction, allowing him to travel freely.

“The Council today decided to remove Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, and Nuri Abu Sahmain, former president of the internationally unrecognised General National Congress of Libya, from the list of individuals and entities subject to restrictive measures in relation to the Libyan conflict.

“The two leading political figures had been subject to EU restrictive measures – a travel ban and an asset freeze – since 2016. The delisting of Speaker Saleh was agreed in light of his recent constructive engagement in support of a negotiated political solution to the Libyan crisis. The Council will continue to follow his behaviour closely, notably in relation to his support for the Berlin Process and for the efforts of the UN mission to Libya (UNSMIL). The delisting of Abu Sahmain was agreed based on the overall absence of any recent role in the Libyan political process.

“The EU welcomed the announcements made on 21 August by the president of the Presidency Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, which accelerated promising developments in Libya and created a window of opportunity to move the Libyan transition forward towards completion through a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process.

“Today’s decision underlines the strategic use of the EU’s sanctions regime, following developments on the ground. Restrictive measures are intended to bring about a change in policy or activity by entities and individuals responsible for malign behaviour, and are of a proportionate, targeted and non-punitive nature. De-listing is appropriate wherever the criteria for listing are no longer met, as was the case here.

“The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons and entities concerned, have been published in the Official Journal”.

Mauritius oil spill ESA dramatic images

European Space Agency (ESA) has released images of MV Wakashio oil spill view from space, depicting the huge area of devastation of the Mauritius waters, and coastline.

Reportedly large cracks have appeared in the hull of MV Wakashio cargo vessel, leaking oil in Mauritius, prompting the Prime minister to warn it may “break in two”.

The wrecked ship, which is believed to have been carrying 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil, ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July.

Despite bad weather, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said 500 tonnes had been safely pumped out on August 10.

However he warned the islanders should be preparing for the “worst-case scenario” with further release of the rest of the fuel into the ocean.

Mauritius is home to world-renowned coral reefs, and related tourism is a crucial part of its economy.

Mauritius ecological disaster

The island nation of Mauritius has declared a “state of environmental emergency” after a Japanese tanker offshore began leaking tons of oil into the ocean.
MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July and its crew was evacuated. The inhabitants of the ilsland were left alone to solve the environmental crisis.

Since the date of the shipwreck the large bulk carrier has beenleaking tons of crude oil into the surrounding waters.
France has pledged support and the ship’s owner Nagashiki Shipping ensured it was working to combat the spill.

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared the state of emergency late on Friday, August 7.
He underlined that the nation did not have “the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships”, and appealed to Preisent Macron for help. In his Tweet response French President vowed to deliver aid to the islanders from the Island of Reunion.

The French island of Reunion lies near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is home to world-famous coral reefs, and tourism is a crucial part of the nation’s economy.

Being registered in Panama, the MV Wakashio is owned by a Japanese company Nagashiki Shipping.

The island nation, which relies on its waters for fishing and tourism has deployed around 400 sea booms, physical barriers made of metal or plastic, to slow the spread of the oil.

The Japanese owners of a cargo ship leaking oil off the coast of Mauritius apologized and promised to do everything possible to contain the spill.

Mauritius is admired by tourists for its natural environment, beaches and water sports.

Libya LNA shuts down oil exports

The Libyan National Oil Corporation will lose $55 million daily due to shutting down oil shipment at ports, RIA Novosti reported, citing a statement by the company.

According to the corporation, daily losses in crude oil production will amount to 800 thousand barrels, which corresponds to USD55 million.

The ports of Al-Barik, Ras Lanuf, Al-Harik, Zaytuniya and Al-Sadr were blocked by order of the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

The country in terms of oil reserves ranks 9th in the world with 48.4 billion barrels. Before the overthrow of the national leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya produced about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, and it was one of the main oil exporters in southern Europe.

With the interruption of oil exports, the rivalry between two Libyan centres of power in Tripoli and Benghazi escalates to new height.

At present Libya has a world-recognized Government of National Accord, led by a Fayez al-Saraj, a descendant from a prominent Turkish family, who resides in Tripoli, and the Interim government, which is headed by Abdullah Abdurrahaman at-Thani, supported by Tobruk Parliament and Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar, who has been undertaking siege of Tripoli since April 2019, claiming the need to liberate if from terrorists.

Greece expels Libya Ambassador

Libyan ambassador is expelled from Athens following the agreement between Libya and Turkey, signed on November 27, which maps out a sea boundary between the two countries, close to Crete island.

Mohamed Younis AB Menfi has 72 hours to leave the country, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters on December 6. The Turkey-Libyan accord was a “blatant violation of international law,” Dendias said.

Ankara is backing Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli.The agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and the Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj administration could complicate disputes over energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkish drilling has caused indignation of Greek Cypriots, Athens, and the EU.

Congo national parks threatened by oil drilling

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 interrupted extraction

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 SATotal SA, OMV AG and Statoil ASA.

Libya pipeline blast

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.