“Why the Libyan rebels will (probably) win”

That is Noel Maurer’s conclusion. The reason?

First, they have the Tobruk oil terminal firmly in hand. They took possession of the Zueitina terminal on Monday, bit whether they can hold that depends on events in neary Ajdabiya. The two terminals have an export capacity of 63,000 and 214,000 barrels per day (bpd), respectively, for a total potential export capacity of 277,000 bpd. The terminals are fed by the Sarir and Misla fields, which according to Agoco are producing about 95,000 bpd, down from 400,000 bpd.

Why is production so low? Agoco was not dependent on foreign expertise. The loss of contractors in the general flight when the civil war broke didn’t help, but it didn’t cause the decline. Rather, the problem is legal uncertainty. With sanctions biting, it wasn’t clear that any of the majors could purchase Libyan oil without opening themselves up to massive liabilities.

…This looks like it is about to change. In what may be the most significant development of the civil war since the Western airstrikes began, the rebels just declared the formation of a new “Libyan Oil Company,” and “the designation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya.”

This is really important. It means that a rebel government, recognized by France, now has an oil company and a central bank.

He sounds a more pessimistic note here.

Comments are closed.