Reports surfaced today that the German oil company Wintershall Holding GmbH based in Kassel, Germany, has temporarily suspended its operations in two on shore concessions in Libya until further notice. The company, a subsidiary of BASF, operates in many locations around the world. Libya has recently sustained a loss of some oil exporting capacity due to fighting between the government and rebel factions.
News reports passed on to me by Dr Rod Rohrich indicated today that a fire which began last week at an oil terminal at Es Sider continues to burn. The government and its opponents have struggled to control the terminal. Some sources believe that seven large oil storage tanks have sustained serious damage or been destroyed in the violence and the fire, causing losses estimated at $213 million and, potentially, an unverified number of human casualties.
Some authorities indicated that fighting previously closed oil exporting ports in western coastal areas of Libya, including Zawiya and Mellitah. Prior to 2011, Libya derived significant revenues from its oil industry.