Libya refinery attacks expose ongoing security issues

AKE has lowered the security risk rating for Tripoli on its intelligence website Global Intake. The security and political risk consultancy firm has revised the rating from 63 (Open Conflict) to 26 (Unstable). This is a considerable jump in AKE’s 1-100 scale, which ranks countries on how dangerous they are.

The Libyan capital has seen a sustained improvement in the security environment following the city’s liberation by rebel forces. AKE sources on the ground describe the security situation as positive and report that the National Transitional Council has been able to exert its authority throughout major areas of the city.

Libya as a whole is still fairly volatile with four towns still held by Gaddafi loyalists. Loyalists operating out of Beni Walid attacked an oil refinery on September 12th and killed 15 guards, so though the war is drawing to a close, Gaddafi may yet have a sting in his tail.

The NTC has said that all existing contracts will be honoured, which is good news for Libya as these contracts, negotiated under deposed leader Colonel Gaddafi, are very favourable to the Libyan government; the price of doing business with a despot.

Nuri Berruien, the new Chairman of the Libyan national oil company has said it could be early 2013 before production is restored to pre-conflict levels of 1.6 million bpd of oil. This timescale is based on the varying levels of damage to installations, and whether or not oil companies can guarantee their personnel’s safety.

It is not helped by the fact that a lot of Libya’s oil reserves are very waxy and many oil wells have been out of action for so long that a lot of work will be needed to get them flowing at full capacity again.

Published on 14/09/2011

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