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Lybia falls apart. Oil output at 10%, refineries in hands of factions.

Africa Security News.- Arab Spring. Lybia falling apart.

Africa Security News.- Arab Spring. Lybia falling apart.

Libya looks to oil and gas revenue for the majority of the country’s state spending and about 60 percent of its GDP.

However, just after the new year, militias and labor groups began to express their frustration with slow progress and representation by targeting oil and gas facilities. In the country’s eastern half, actions were also driven by a desire for greater political power, with some groups insisting that authority over the country’s energy production efforts should be moved to the city of Benghazi. They reasoned that the majority of Libya’s reserves are located in the east so decision should be made there too. The government response in Tripoli was sharp, warning swift action against anyone who threatened the country’s economic life blood. They expanded the Petroleum Facility Guards (PFG) to 18,000 members in an attempt to protect energy facilities and offer employment to frustrated militia members.

Months on, these efforts have failed to deter groups targeting pipelines, refineries and export terminals, causing Libya’s output to fall to just about 10 percent of the country’s capacity.

But also the Lybian Government has problems at the west of Tripoli. Berber protesters occupying a gas terminal at Mellitah in western Libya said on Wednesday they were cutting off the Greenstream gas pipeline that delivers supplies to Italy. The terminal near the Berber town of Zwara, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Tripoli, is managed by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a firm jointly owned by Italy’s ENI and Libya’s National Oil Company. ENI is the biggest foreign oil company in Libya and runs a pipeline to Sicily from the Mellitah terminal which supplies Italy with 17 million cubic meters of gas daily.

British Petroleum is in talks to relinquish control of a major oil and natural-gas project in Libya, a blow to the country as it tries to attract companies to tap Africa’s largest oil reserves.

BP is negotiating a deal with Libya’s state-controlled National Oil Co. to transfer a stake in BP’s two Ghadames blocks to NOC subsidiary Arabian Gulf Oil Co., or Agoco, and make it the operator of the venture, according to executives at both NOC and BP.

BP is seeking to transfer its role as operator of the blocks, located in Libya’s southern Sahara region, because of security concerns, said two executives familiar with the matter.