Libya’s state oil firm confirms LNA control of oil ports

Smoke and flame rise from an oil storage tank that was set on fire amid fighting between rival factions at Ras Lanuf terminal in Libya. (National Oil Corporation via Reuters)
Updated 22 June 2018
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Libya’s state oil firm confirms LNA control of oil ports

VIENNA: The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed on Friday that Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) had regained control of the key oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, and said he hoped operations would resume in the “next couple of days.”

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said Libya had been losing 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of production after clashes between the LNA and rival factions closed the two terminals.

The LNA took the ports back on Thursday in heavy fighting, a week after an attack by anti-Haftar armed groups had forced them to withdraw.

“We lost 450,000 bpd in last eight to nine days and hopefully in next couple of days we can resume operations,” Sanalla told reporters ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna.

A fire that broke out at a third storage tank in Ras Lanuf on Thursday had been put out, he said.

“We had a minor fire yesterday and we extinguished it and the situation there is good. We will make the assessments and then resume operations as soon as possible.”

Two other storage tanks at Ras Lanuf had caught on fire earlier in the fighting, causing extensive damage.

Libya’s national oil production has dropped to between 600,000 and 700,000 bpd due to the closure of the ports.


Iraq’s president visits Iran weeks after US renews sanctions

Updated 58 min 43 sec ago
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Iraq’s president visits Iran weeks after US renews sanctions

TEHRAN, Iran: Iraq’s president is visiting Iran less than two weeks after the United States restored oil sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.
State TV says Barham Salih arrived Saturday and met with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran, which has had major influence over Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, is hoping to maintain exports to its neighbor despite the renewed sanctions. Iraq is Iran’s second-largest market after China, buying everything from food and machinery to electricity and natural gas.
Trade between the two countries was some $7 billion in 2017, and they have vowed to boost it to $8.5 billion this year.