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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/6/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Seizure of oil ports has hindered African nation's oil industry

The North African nation of Libya, free from the iron grip of Colonel Moammar Khadafy has declared that their oil crisis has reached a diplomatic end. Libya's acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni says that the government has reached a deal with a rebel leader controlling oil ports to relinquish the last two terminals and end a blockade that crippled the OPEC nation's petroleum industry.

The ports had been reclaimed after an agreement with Ibrahim Jathran, whose fighters had seized the terminals almost a year ago in a bid for more regional autonomy.

The ports had been reclaimed after an agreement with Ibrahim Jathran, whose fighters had seized the terminals almost a year ago in a bid for more regional autonomy.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/6/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Libya, oil production, protests, agreement


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We have successfully reached an agreement to solve the oil crisis. We have received today Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports thankfully without the use of force," Thinni said in eastern Libya. "I officially declare this is the end of the oil crisis."

The ports had been reclaimed after an agreement with Ibrahim Jathran, whose fighters had seized the terminals almost a year ago in a bid for more regional autonomy.

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Jathran had handed over the ports as a "goodwill gesture" to the new parliament, which was elected last month, according to journalists.

Taking back the two major eastern oil terminals could make about half a million more barrels a day of crude available for export. This is a major breakthrough for Libya, which has long been stymied by oil revenue losses.

The crisis had included failed negotiations, threats to bombard rebels and even an attempt by Jathran to dispatch an oil tanker that was later boarded on the high seas by U.S. commandos.

Disputes over Libya's vast oil resources have been among the many triggers for conflict between rival brigades of former rebels and allied political factions since civil war ended four decades of Moammar Gadhafi's one-man rule in 2011.

Shipments may still face technical delays and past negotiations have been slowed by subsequent political disagreements, even though the announcement by Thinni and Jathran appeared to show a more solid agreement.

World oil fell below $112 a barrel Wednesday on a possible substantial recovery in Libyan exports.

Before a wave of protests, strikes and blockades reduced the nation's oil output to as low as 150,000 barrels per day, Libya produced about 1.4 million barrels per day per day.

Jathran's rebels and their allies, who were all former state oil protection guards before their mutiny, had agreed in April to reopen the two smaller ports, Zueitina and Hariga, and then gradually free up Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.

Protests have curtailed production at some oilfields, and still other groups may still target pipelines and oil facilities to make political or financial demands on a government that struggles to control many parts of the country.

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