Staff evacuated from Libyan oil fields over terror threat


A worker checks pipes and valves at Amaal oil field in eastern Libya

Staff have been evacuated from three oil fields in eastern Libya over fears of terror attacks by Ismalic State militants though production has not been affected because the fields are shut, oil and security officials have said.

Islamic State militants have launched frequent attacks on Libyan oil fields and terminals in recent months, damaging facilities but not taking control of them.

Though Islamists have never taken control of oil fields in Libya, officials are worried this could happen in the future.

Reuters news agency reports Mohamed al-Manfi, an oil official based in eastern Libya, to say that the Wafa field had been completely evacuated and the Tibesti and Bayda fields were partially evacuated after security forces warned of possible planned attacks.

Labour disputes, militant attacks and conflict between local communities and armed factions have sharply cut back Libya’s oil production in recent years.

Earlier this month five members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard were killed in an attack by suspected Islamic State militants near Bayda field, about 250 km (155 miles) south of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. The guard is a semi-military force that controls many oil facilities in the east.

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