Libya Needs Weapons To Defend Its Oil
Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) said its forces need more weapons to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), which is fighting for control of two of the nation’s largest crude export facilities of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. Both ports have been under attack most of the year.
ISIS recently gained control of Sirte and Naufaliya, which is about 30 miles from Es Sider. These two regions contain about 70 percent of Libya’s crude oil reserves.
In a PFG statement, the group said that populated areas cannot be won by air power alone and additional ground forces, weapons and ammunition are needed.
Libya use to export about 1.6 million barrels of crude oil per day prior to the 2011 rebellion, which ended Qaddafi’s rule. Today, the output is only 400,000 barrels and Libya is now OPEC’s smallest producer due to the ongoing civil unrest.
In December, Libya stopped crude exports from the two ports after militias attacked Es Sider, its largest oil terminal. And the National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared force majeure at both ports. Force majeure is a legal status, which protects a party from liability if it cannot fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control.
The PFG also wants the U.N. Security Council to lift an arms embargo that prevents its forces from receiving weapons. The ban was originally placed on Qaddafi’s regime