Staff evacuated from shuttered Libyan oil fields due to militant threat
In light of recent attacks on Libyan oil fields and terminals from ISIS militants, the staff of three oil fields have been evacuated. Reuters reports that facilities have been damaged in prior attacks; however, ISIS does not have control over any oil fields. This is of particular importance due to lower oil production in recent years as a result of labor disputes, militant attacks, and conflict between armed factions.
Mohamed al-Manfi, an oil official based in eastern Libya, said the Wafa field had been completely evacuated and the Tibesti and Bayda fields were partially evacuated after security forces warned of possible planned attacks.
A security source said told Reuters that fighters loyal to Islamic State had been mobilizing in Nawfiliyah, a town between the extremist group’s Libyan stronghold of Sirte and the oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.
Earlier this month five members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard were killed in an attack by suspected Islamic State militants near Bayda field, about 250 km (155 miles) south of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. The guard is a semi-military force that controls many oil facilities in the east.
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