Oil Prices Gain Following Attacks on Libya Terminals

Oil Prices Gain Following Attacks on Libya TerminalsOil Prices Gain Following Attacks on Libya Terminals

Oil prices rose in Asia on Friday as dealers reacted to a surprise attack on Libya's main oil terminals that left 22 soldiers dead, AFP reported.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery rose 28 cents to $56.12 in mid-morning trade, while Brent for February gained 13 cents to $60.37.

The attack in Libya's oil-rich region saw militiamen belonging to the Fajr Libya, or Libya Dawn, target Al-Sidra port by firing rockets from speedboats, setting an oil tank on fire, security forces said.

Soldiers damaged three of the vessels before clashes in which the militants were eventually repelled. Military and medical sources said 18 soldiers and a Fajr Libya fighter were killed in fighting in Sirte, and another four soldiers slain in Al-Sidra.

Al-Sidra is located in the country's "oil crescent" region that has been the scene of recent fighting between government forces and Fajr Libya. Production in Libya has only just started to rise following a prolonged disruption due to civil unrest. Since fresh clashes between government forces and the jihadists erupted on December 13, Libya's oil production has dropped to nearly 350,000 barrels per day compared with 800,000 previously.