Libya extinguishes week-long oil terminal blaze

2015-01-02 22:30


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Cairo - Firefighters extinguished a blaze that had raged for a week at Libya's largest oil port, Libyan media reported on Friday.

The fire was sparked by a missile hitting the al-Sidra oil export terminal on 25 December when rival insurgents were battling for control of oil facilities in eastern Libya.

"Firefighting teams extinguished the fire at two tanks [Thursday night] after having already controlled four other tanks," independent Libyan Solidarity Press Agency reported quoting a local firefighter.

"We can say that the extinguishing operation and fire control have been successfully completed."

The blaze, which destroyed three of the terminal's 17 tanks, consumed at least $100m worth of oil, according to the state-run National Oil Corporation.

Islamist-allied insurgents, calling themselves "Libya Dawn”, began last month an offensive to control oil facilities in eastern Libya as part of a heightened power struggle in the North African country.

The onslaught prompted a counter-attack from military forces backing the internationally recognised government headquartered in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Oil is the main income source for Libya, which has two rival governments and two parliaments at present.

The country has in recent months seen its worst violence since the ouster of long-time dictator Muammer Gaddafi in a 2011 armed revolt.

The National Oil Corporation has said the infighting has pushed Libya's oil production to a "very low level”.

The company did not provide figures.

Libya's oil output reached 1.6 million barrels per day before the anti-Gaddafi uprising, according to official figures.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa
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