Libyan rebels capture oil ports

A petroleum worker walks through a Libyan oil refinery in Al Brega, Libya. Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa and petroleum exports account for 95 percent of the country's export earnings.

JEREMY HOBSON: We continue our coverage of the economic effects of the unrest in the Arab World now with a story about Libyan oil. Rebels have regained control of two key oil cities and they claim they have signed a contract to sell the oil.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard has that story.


STEPHEN BEARD: Backed by the allies' airpower, the rebel's ambitions are growing fast. They say they've sealed a deal with an energy rich Gulf state. Qatar has apparently agreed to take all the oil the rebels can produce. That is said to be just over 100,000 barrels a day. And could be increased.

Julian Lee is with the Centre for Global Energy Studies. He says this may help the rebels, but it won't make a big difference to the world oil market.

JULIAN LEE: Getting back to anything like Libya's capacity production of about 1.6 million barrels a day is probably a long, long way in the future.

He says most foreign oil workers -- including the key technical staff required to keep the oil fields running -- have fled the country. And they seem unlikely to return for some time to come.

In London, I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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