Libyan rebels agree to reopen two oil terminals after deal

Rebel at Ras Lanuf (11 March) The rebels have been demanding a greater share of Libya's oil wealth and more regional autonomy

Related Stories

Two Libyan oil terminals have reopened, after rebels agreed partially to lift their oil blockade in a deal reached with the government.

The terminals of Zueitina and Hariga in the east are now in government hands, the justice minister has said.

Two other ports are due to reopen in the coming weeks.

Oil exports have plummeted 80% in the past eight months after the closures of oil ports led by militiamen seeking greater regional autonomy.

Traders have been watching the negotiations closely, keen to know when Libyan oil is going to re-enter the market after major disruption.

A failed attempt to sell oil illegally last month triggered the latest round of talks to lift the blockade.

'Goodwill gesture'

Libya's Minister of Justice, Salah al-Marghani, confirmed the partial lifting of the oil blockades, at a news briefing in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Zueitina is located to the south of Benghazi and Hariga to the east.

Potentially the two ports could increase Libya's crude oil exports by about 200,000 barrels per day.

That would be a big boost to the nation's output, which is currently running at around 150,000 barrels per day.

Mr al-Marghani said the remaining two largest oil terminals in the east, Ras Lanuf and Sidra, would also reopen soon.

"The protesters are banned from returning or obstructing work at the ports," he added.

Under the agreement, the government will pay compensation to the rebels, drop charges against them and reverse its threat of a military offensive.


Rebels have been demanding a greater share of Libya's oil wealth and more regional autonomy.

Negotiations between the two sides have been difficult and previous agreements have broken down.

As part of the deal, the prime minister's spokesman told the BBC the government had agreed to pay the salaries of guards at the terminals.

The leader of the eastern blockade, Ibrahim Jathran, said on Libyan TV that the deal had been reached to prove the militiamen were a peaceful movement.

"It's a goodwill gesture on our part to prove that talking and negotiating is the only way to resolve Libyan problems without interference from the West and from others and without the use of force or threats," he said.

Last month US forces returned a tanker that had been loaded with oil by the rebels to the Libyan government.

The North Korea-flagged ship Morning Glory had been loaded at the port of Sidra and evaded a naval blockade before being boarded by US Navy Seals south of Cyprus.

Its evasion prompted parliament to sack Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

On Friday the benchmark price of Brent crude closed at $106.59 a barrel, up 44 cents.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories


BBC Business Live


    Bank of England governor Mark Carney is in all the newspapers today following his speech to the Commonwealth business conference yesterday. The FT interprets Mr Carney's speech as revealing deep concerns about household indebtedness and the effect an interest rate rise will have on households' ability to service their debts.


    Unilever, the food giant, has said first half net profit rose to 3bn euros (£2.37bn) from 2.68bn euros even as sales fell. Its cost savings plan is working well, it said. Excluding businesses sold or otherwise disposed of, sales rose 3.7%.

    SSE logo at the SSE Training Centre in Perth

    SSE and UK Power Networks (IKPN) are to pay an additional £3.3m for delays in getting power back up and running to households in southern England following last winter's storms. That's on top of the £4.7m the two energy companies are paying out to customers under guaranteed standards and in goodwill payments. It brings the total paid out by the two companies to £8m.

    ENERGY PROBE 07:04: Breaking News

    The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will carry out an independent investigation to see if there are any features of the energy market which "prevent, restrict or distort competition and, if so, what action might be taken to remedy them," it says. It will report back by Christmas day 2015.

    INTEREST RATES 06:56: Radio 5 live

    Kathleen Brooks of thinks January will be the time for a rate increase from the Bank of England. Maybe a 25 basis point increase to 0.75%, she says. Bank governor, Mark Carney, said yesterday there may be more labour supply than previously thought. Wages growth is thus being held back.

    RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 06:44: BBC Radio 4
    Russian President Vladimir Putin

    Kathleen Brooks has now popped up on the Today programme. She says sanctions against Russia "are toothless at this point....Russia has a lot of energy that the West wants." She adds divisions in the West over energy policy have been exposed by the fact "the UK and France have a spat about sanctions and that just plays into Vladimir Putin's hands." Ms Brooks says there have "also been rumours that Russia has been unofficially propping up the rouble. The sanctions are not going to hurt the European Union's energy links to Russia."

    ENERGY PRICES 06:31: Radio 5 live

    If you have to steel yourself with a nice cup of sweet tea before opening your latest energy bill, spare a thought for Nigel and Linda Brotherton, who were told by Npower that their monthly direct debit was going to increase from £87 to £53,480,062. Npower has apologised and the incorrect bill has been cancelled. "It's a massive shock," he tells 5 live.

    GLAXOSMITHKLINE 06:24: Radio 5 live

    David Buik of Panmure Gordon is helping us digest the GlaxoSmithKline results on 5 live. "Sales to China is only about 3% of its total business," and so the bribery scandal there is an unwelcome distraction.

    ROUBLE 06:15: Radio 5 live

    Kathleen Brooks of is on 5 live talking about Russia. The Russia rouble has been "resilient" bearing in mind the new sanctions against Russia. "They are able to shrug off geopolitical risk quite quickly," she says. President Putin may be "breathing a sigh of relief," she adds.

    POUND 06:01: Radio 5 live

    The pound buys about 1.27 euros, its strongest in nearly two years - don't get excited that's not what you'll get from your local foreign exchange. Still, Kathleen Brooks, a research director at, is on 5 live talking about it. The strong pound has helped ease inflation, she says. "Over the period of the financial crisis we had sky high inflation," she adds. The recovery is consumer-driven, which is aided by a stronger pound, which means cheaper imports.

    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning! Get in touch via email at or on twitter @BBCBusiness

    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Good morning folks. So what's new? Facebook has posted some stonking profits for its second quarter, the US has - just - lifted its ban on flights into Tel Aviv and it's Thursday, so General Motors has decided to recall another couple of hundred thousand cars overnight. There's plenty more to come, stay with us.



  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

  • Mary WayaQueen of the court

    Woman who beat "fat" jibes to turn Malawi into netball champions

From BBC Capital


  • A man holds a sign which reads Bring Back Our GirlsHARDtalk Watch

    Why there is still hope and optimism for the rescue of Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.