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The Libyan oil port of Es Sider saw a failed attack on Tuesday, ending with the perpetrator’s demise via suicide bomb, according to a security official and a witness who both spoke to Reuters.
It is unclear whether the attacker acted alone or as part of a plan by one of the local organizations scheming to wrest control of the major port away from the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and its allies. No damage to the port has been reported.
Photos of the site of the explosion, which occurred several miles away from the Oil Crescent port, showed a blue car with its doors flown open and the attacker’s disfigured body parts on the ground nearby. Rocket casings have been found inside the vehicle as well.
Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) handed control of the 340,000 bpd Es Sider and three other oil ports to the NOC after gaining control of them last September. The LNA’s opponents have launched several campaigns to retake the facilities since then, but none have met with lasting success, which has allowed oil exports to continue their rise through 2017.
The NOC aims to spend $550 million to increase crude production to 1.31 million barrels per day by the end of this year, up from the current 885,000-bpd rate.
But according to Helima Croft, the head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, it’s too early to call Libya’s tentative oil production recovery a sustainable return of many more barrels on the market.
“[W]e strongly caution against uncorking the champagne just yet as some of the most powerful armed actors are not party to the agreement (most notably the western militias) and the previous political settlements have proved to be short-lived,” Croft said in a note in early May, as quoted by Business Insider
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…