Armed Clashes Force Libyan Ports to Shut Down

The ports of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Benghazi in Libya are currently closed due to armed clashes, as informed by Inchcape Shipping Services.

Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are Libya’s key oil ports that account for approximately 300,000 barrels of oil exports per day.

The latest outburst of armed conflicts erupted when Libya’s Air Force launched air strikes against militias from the city of Misurata that tried to seize major oil ports in the east and against targets in the west on Monday, local witnesses told Reuters.

Two governmental powers have taken the stage in Libya since August when a group dubbed Libya Dawn took over Tripoli.

Libya declared force majeure on both ports so as to shield them against damage claims from oil buyers caused by the shutdown.

Closure of the oil terminals may lead to further volatility in oil prices.

Libyan ports Ras Lanuf and Es Sider that were blocked for about a year by federalist rebels, together with Zueitina and Hariga oil ports, restarted crude oil transport this August.

However, shipowners have shown reluctance to call at Libyan ports amid heightened security tensions in the region that resulted in demands for a premium on freight rates.

The port of Zuietina has also been closed due to strike action, Inchape said.

World Maritime News Staff

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