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Libya Port Fire Destroys 1.8m Barrels of Crude

Libya Port Fire Destroys  1.8m Barrels of CrudeLibya Port Fire Destroys  1.8m Barrels of Crude

A fire raging for almost a week at Libya's biggest oil port of Es Sider has destroyed up to 1.8 million barrels of crude and damaged seven storage tanks, causing total damage of $213 million, TradeArabia quoted a top oil official as saying.

The Es Sider terminal and nearby Ras Lanuf stopped working three weeks ago when forces loyal to a rival government in Tripoli tried seizing them from forces allied to the recognized Prime Minister Abdullah Al Thinni.

The terminals are still under control of Thinni's forces but the area has become a battlefield against former rebels who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now fight for control of the North African country. A huge fire at a tank farm outside the terminal was reported after a rocket hit, with both sides blaming the other.

Thinni's top oil official, Al Mabrook Al Buseif, said the fire had damaged seven tanks and destroyed up to 1.8 million barrels of crude - roughly four times Libya's daily production. Two tanks have collapsed and two others are still on fire, said Mohamed El Harari, a spokesman for state National Oil Corp (NOC).

Es Sider is fed from fields run by Waha Oil Co., a joint-venture between Libya's National Oil Corp with US companies Hess, Marathon and ConocoPhillips. Without the two ports, which accounted for around 300,000 bpd of exports, Libya's total output was in the range of the 380,000 bpd, Harari said.

Financialtribune.com