Libya Oil Output Slips, Fresh Fighting In Tripoli

Reuters

TRIPOLI, July 22 (Reuters) - Libyan oil production has fallen, turning back a hard-won increase since April in revenue for the government facing increased fighting around the airport in the capital and in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The El-Feel oilfield last week was forced to cut back due to events in Tripoli, where two rival brigades of militias have fought over control of the airport.

El-Feel, operated by state-run National Oil Corporation and Italy's ENI, is protected by security guards from the northwestern Zintan region, whose fighters also protect the airport where clashes have gone on for a week.

National Oil Company spokesman Mohamed El Harari said output as of Monday was around 450,000 bpd compared with 555,000 bpd on Thursday.

At least 47 people have died in the week-long Tripoli airport clashes, which involved artillery, Grad rockets and anti-aircraft guns, in some of the heaviest street fighting since the 2011 civil war.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry warned its citizens on Tuesday not to travel to Libya after 22 Egyptian soldiers were killed by gunmen near the border on Saturday.

"In the light of escalating violence... on Libyan soil, especially in Benghazi... the Egyptian Foreign Ministry calls on all citizens not to travel at all to Libya at the current time for their own safety," it said in an emailed statement.


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