Libya: oil output collapses

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 235 October/November 2013

The activities of militias and striking workers have reduced Libya’s oil output from 1.4m barrels a day at the start of 2013 to 200,000 barrels in August. As a consequence, Libya’s government and foreign oil companies such as Total, Eni, Marathon Oil, ConocoPhilips and Repsol are losing $100m a day in revenues. Most of Libya’s main oil export terminals were closed in early August by guards paid to protect them. Oil pipelines have been sabotaged. Now the oil multinationals are saying that they plan to sell up and leave Libya.

On 17 September Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan visited Britain and Prime Minister David Cameron and asked for help in disposing of the mass of weapons in Libya. The United Nations Security Council warned of a ‘worrying’ increase in the movement of weapons and ammunition across Libya’s borders ‘and an increasing number of reported cases of trafficking such material to Syria’. Libya’s militias are beyond the control of the central government and were armed by such as France, Britain and Qatar to fight the Gadaffi-led government forces. Now these militias have such a glut of weapons that they are advertising them for sale on Facebook.

Trevor Rayne


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