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Official: Fire extinguished in Libya’s al-Sidr port

A week ago, a rocket hit al-Sider’s storages, destroying up to 1.8 million barrels of crude and at least two tanks

Published: Updated:

A fire that has raged in the al-Sidra oil port in eastern Libya for one week has been put out, an official said, according to the Al Arabiya News Channel.

Al-Sider and its adjacent Ras Lanuf terminal have been closed since a group allied to a rival government in Tripoli moved three weeks ago to try and take them, part of a struggle between former rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but are now fighting for power and a share of oil reserves.

A week ago, a rocket hit al-Sider’s storages, destroying up to 1.8 million barrels of crude and at least two tanks, a top official said, according to Reuters news agency.

The battle for control of the oil ports is part of a wider struggle in the North African country which has had two governments since a group called Libya Dawn seized the capital in August by expelling a rival faction, installing its own prime minister and forcing the recognized premier, Abdullah al-Thinni, to operate out of the east with the elected House of Representatives.

The fighting has reduced Libya’s crude output to around 380,000 barrels a day, state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) has said.

Al-Sider is fed from fields run by Waha Oil Co, a joint-venture of NOC with U.S. firms Hess, Marathon and ConocoPhillips.

Thinni’s government had said this week it had contracted a U.S. firefighting firm for six million dollars. It was not clear whether it has arrived yet.

[With Reuters]