At least two major oil terminals in Libya have fallen into rebel hands, according to unconfirmed reports coming from the eastern city of Benghazi.
It is thought that the anti-Gaddafi forces seized the ports on Thursday, although it is unclear if production at the terminals has been badly affected.
The violence in Libya is estimated to have cut the country’s oil output dramatically, much of it going to Europe, most notably Italy. Paolo Scaroni, the head of Italian energy giant ENI, said : ‘‘We have on-shore fields, notably Huafa in the west of Libya which is operating regularly – we still have 34 expatriates there. Obviously, it’s an emergency situation, but things are continuing.’‘
Large swathes of Libya, notably the oil rich east of the country, now appear to be under rebel control.
The unrest in the world’s 12th biggest exporter has raised fears global supply could be affected, sending oil prices rocketing to their highest level since 2008.