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Oil Prices Rise Amid Militant Attacks on Libyan Oil Depots

© Fotolia / marrakeshhOil prices grew on Friday amid attacks by militants on an oil depot in the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf
Oil prices grew on Friday amid attacks by militants on an oil depot in the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf - Sputnik International
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Earlier on Thursday, the Libya Dawn militant group fired several rockets on the Ras Lanuf oil depot in the east of the country, setting it on fire. Global oil prices grew Friday amid the attacks.

MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) — World oil prices grew on Friday amid attacks by militants on an oil depot in the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf, according to trading data.

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As of 7:20 a.m. Moscow time (04:20 GMT) the price of Brent North Sea crude February futures increased by 0.41 percent and was trading at $60.49 per barrel, while the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude oil futures for February delivery increased by 0.43 percent, trading at $56.08 per barrel.

Earlier on Thursday, the Libya Dawn militant group fired several rockets on the Ras Lanuf oil depot in the north of the country, setting it on fire.

After gaining control of the Libyan capital Tripoli and the west of the country, Libya Dawn attacked the largest Libyan ports, which resulted in the closure of the oil terminal. The country's two main oil ports, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, have remained closed for almost two weeks due to clashes between government forces and radical Islamist groups.

A MiG-21 fighter jet belonging to forces loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar takes off from a base on the outskirts of Al Sidra oil port, in Ras Lanuf - Sputnik International
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However, the Libyan government was quick to react to the surge of rebel activity today. On request from the Petroleum Facilities Guard, Tripoli conducted airstrikes against the Islamist militants, threatening oil terminals at Es Sider.

“We decided to order attacks from the air without waiting after the rocket attack on Es Sider,” Ali al-Hasy of the Petroleum Facilities Guard in Es Sider told Bloomberg.

Skirmishes between the Islamist militants and guards at oil terminals have intensified on Dec. 13. According to the Libyan state-controlled National Oil Corp., oil production in Libya dropped to 352,000 bpd following the recent atacks as compared to Libya's maximum capability of 993,000 bpd oil production seen previously.

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