AN ARMED assault has caused catastrophic damage to two oil storage tanks at the Ras Lanuf terminal in Libya.
The National Oil Company (NOC) said two of the five tanks are ablaze, reducing storage capacity at the site from 950,000 bbl to 550,000. It warned there is a risk oil will leak form one of the ruined tanks and spread the blaze to the three that remain.
NOC said a militia led by Ibrahim Jadhran was responsible for the destruction. One employee was shot during the incursion, and the company has wished him a speedy recovery. While a number of other employees were robbed by armed mercenaries fighting alongside the militia, all employees have been evacuated to safety.
“NOC calls again for the immediate withdrawal of Ibrahim Jhadran and his gangs from the port, cessation of military operations and the provision of support and assistance to fire-fighting teams trying to reach the tanks still ablaze. This incident will result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in construction costs, and billions in lost sales opportunities. Rebuilding the tanks may take years, especially in current security circumstances.”
Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.