Tanker trucks leave the Zawiya oil refinery on November 13, 2013 after former rebels lifted a three-day blockade of the facility, 40 kilometres west of the Libyan capital Tripoli
Tanker trucks leave the Zawiya oil refinery on November 13, 2013 after former rebels lifted a three-day blockade of the facility, 40 kilometres west of the Libyan capital Tripoli © Mahmud Turkia - AFP/File
Tanker trucks leave the Zawiya oil refinery on November 13, 2013 after former rebels lifted a three-day blockade of the facility, 40 kilometres west of the Libyan capital Tripoli
AFP
Last updated: December 21, 2013

Libya again threatens use of force to end oil blockade

Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi on Saturday issued a renewed threat of force to lift a months-long blockade of oil terminals by striking autonomists.

"The government is making every effort to hold talks with those blockading the terminals," he told journalists on the sidelines of a conference in Doha of the Organisation of Arab Oil Exporting Countries.

"But all options, including the military option, remain open to put an end to this situation," he said.

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has already threatened to use force against the strikers but without taking action.

Armed protesters have refused to lift their blockade of vital oil terminals in eastern Libya, despite a tribal pledge to do so.

The action, which has sent oil output plummeting to 250,000 barrels per day from the normal level of almost 1.5 million bpd, was launched in July in support of demands for regional autonomy.

Since the ouster of Libya's long-time leader Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, authorities have struggled to quell rising lawlessness and impose their authority.

Arusi said in early December that lost production had cost Libya "around $9.0 billion" in revenues.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272