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Libya saw overnight its worst clashes in the capital Tripoli so far this year, sparking concerns about battles spilling over to the OPEC member’s oil-producing and exporting infrastructure.
The most powerful and heavily armed factions in Tripoli fought in several districts of the Libyan capital on Monday evening and Tuesday morning local time, with casualties reported.
Following months of almost no incidents and clashes in Tripoli, one of the factions, the Special Deterrence Force, seized the commander Mahmoud Hamza from the 444 Brigade faction, a source in the brigade told Reuters.
Libya has been in a state of near civil war since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and factions have been fighting between the east and west of the country, often resulting in port blockades or blockades at oilfields, which have reduced oil production and exports.
Due to the unrest, Libya is exempted from the OPEC+ deal and is not obliged to reduce oil production when the alliance decides to intervene in the market with output cuts.
Just last month, Libyan oil output was lower than in June, after Sharara, Libya’s largest oilfield, was shut down for a few days as a result of protests from the Zawi tribe over the kidnapping of Faraj Bumatari, a former finance minister.
Since the end of August 2022, Libya had been pumping close to or even above 1.2 million bpd, the level last seen before the port blockades that began in the spring of 2022 crippled Libyan oil output in the spring and most of the summer of 2022.
Tensions resurfaced last month, when the leader of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, threatened to use force unless the country’s political leaders agreed on a way to distribute oil revenues fairly. Haftar’s threat followed a similar threat issued by the eastern government in late June.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.