After a major push that saw oil output rise from 260,000 b/d in August 2016 to 1mn b/d over the first five months of 2018 (MEES, 22 December 2017), resurgent political violence has torpedoed Libya’s oil sector. Militias commanded by Ibrahim al-Jathran attacked the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil terminals in mid-June, causing damage that the National Oil Corporation (NOC) describes as “catastrophic.”

The Libyan National Army (LNA), for two years a reluctant partner of the Tripoli government, has used the attacks as a pretext to hand control of the terminals to its allies in the east — a move that could undermine Libya’s tenuous recovery efforts. After all, recent improvements have largely been down to the tense but largely stable relationship between the Presidency Council (PC), Libya’s Tripoli-based executive, and the self-styled LNA, a group of militias commanded by the controversial and ambitious Khalifa Haftar. (CONTINUED - 1020 WORDS)