Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Libya’s El Sharara oilfield, pictured in this file photo, can produce 315,000 barrels a day. Reuters
Updated 10 December 2018
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Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Reuters BENGHAZI: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Sunday of “catastrophic consequences” if production at the El Sharara oilfield is brought to a complete halt by a tribal protest.
Should the 315,000 barrel-a-day field shut down, it would take a long time to bring it back on stream and production from another field would also be affected, the state oil firm said.
“Shutting down production at the El Sharara field will have catastrophic, long-term consequences. It would take a long time to resume production because of the sabotage and theft that are likely to happen,” NOC said in a statement.
Tribesmen stormed into the field premises on Saturday, saying their southern Fezzan region had suffered decades of neglect and demanding that the revenue from the oil produced at local fields be used to fund development projects.
NOC said that the storage tanks at the field would be completely full within hours of its statement, forcing the field to shut down as it cannot pump the crude out to processing facilities.
The company described the protesters as “criminals” because they had stopped the pumps from functioning.
“The company would then have to implement an emergency plan to evacuate the staff from the field,” it said in a statement.
If El Sharara stops operating, production at the El Feel oilfield, also in southern Libya, would also stop because El Sharara supplies it with power and the supply to the Zawiya refinery on the coast would also be interrupted, it said.
NOC accused security guards on Saturday of having facilitated the “occupation” of the field.
The tribesmen call themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement. Their spokesman, Mohamed Maighal, said that they would allow crude oil already extracted to be put into storage tanks, but would then force production to be stopped.
NOC has previously tried to avert such action through talks.


Hyundai invests $300 million to help India’s Ola battle Uber

Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market. (Reuters)
Updated 58 min 53 sec ago
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Hyundai invests $300 million to help India’s Ola battle Uber

  • Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market
  • Ola says it handles around a billion rides a year across India’s major centers

MUMBAI: Indian taxi-hailing company Ola has secured a $300-million investment from South Korean car giant Hyundai, the firms said Tuesday, providing a major boost in its fight against US giant Uber.
Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market, which is estimated to be worth around $10 billion and growing fast.
The new money, from Hyundai’s subsidiary Kia Motors, will largely be used to help Ola increase its electric vehicle fleet, the companies said in a joint statement.
“Our partnership with Ola will certainly accelerate our efforts to transform into a smart mobility solutions provider,” Hyundai executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said in the statement.
Bangalore-based Ola announced last year that it planned to put a million electric vehicles on India roads by 2021.
Ride-hailing apps are booming in the country despite stiff opposition from traditional taxi firms and some initial concerns about passenger safety.
Ola says it handles around a billion rides a year across India’s major centers, as well as seven cities in Australia.
In 2018, Ola also announced operations in Britain as part of a drive into other markets as competition with Uber intensifies on home turf.