26 December 2017

Libya: Explosion At Major Oil Pipeline in Libya - Reports

One of Libya's main oil export terminals has reportedly been shut down following a blast. Crude oil prices rose after the event.

A major oil pipeline in Libya was hit by an explosion on Tuesday, Reuters news agency and local outlets reported.

The pipeline feeds into the central distribution station of Al Sider on the Mediterranean Sea. The explosion hit near the village of Marada.

The pipeline belongs to the Waha oil company, a local oil source said. In the wake of the blast, Waha reportedly stopped pumping oil from the ferry terminal, meaning a potentially massive drop in Libya's crude oil production

Oil was trading at more than $65 (€55) a barrel after the incident, close to its highest price since mid-2015. Voluntary OPEC-led supply cuts also impacted the price.

Waha is a subsidiary of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) and operates as a joint venture with Hess Corp, Marathon Oil Corp and ConocoPhillips.

It claims to pump 260,000 barrels a day.

Online English-language news outlet The Libya Times reported that the national army had accused Islamist militants from the Benghazi Defense Brigades of attacking the pipeline. It shared unconfirmed images of the blast.

Reuters later reported that armed men were responsible for the explosion, citing a Libyan military source.

The men arrived in two cars and planted explosives, the source said.

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