NATO allies concerned for Libyan oil

Libyan oil production down about 70 percent from pre-civil war levels.

By Daniel J. Graeber

PARIS, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A joint statement from NATO allies called on all parties to the hostilities in Libya to work to ensure damage or disruption to oil installations is prevented.

A statement published by the French government said five of its NATO allies have expressed concern about tensions near the Zuetina oil facility.


"The governments call for all parties to refrain from hostilities and avoid any action that could damage or disrupt Libya's energy infrastructure," the emailed statement read.

The governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States said they were squarely in line behind the U.N.-backed administration in Libya, noting control over oil terminals rests solely with that government.

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Libya in July moved to reopen some of its oil terminals, which were idled for nearly two years by threats from rival internal powers. A commander in charge of Libyan oil security said last month that crude oil exports from two of the country's largest ports, opened only sparingly, were ready to resume.

Tankers were stranded off the nation's coast because of a strike by workers at an oil terminal in July. As much as 170,000 barrels per day of oil were likely lost because of incidents.


"Restoring oil exports is vital to generating revenues that can provide for the essential needs of the Libyan people, including electricity, healthcare, and infrastructure," the joint statement read.

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According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, member-state Libya produced about 304,000 barrels of oil per day last month, down about 6 percent from June

Libya's political environment fractured in the wake of civil war in 2011, with factions establishing authority from opposite sides of the country. Before civil war erupted, Libya was producing more than 1 million bpd.

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