Quoting a source close to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader has ordered his security forces to sabotage oil facilities, reports Time magazine. Libyan forces were ordered to start blowing up oil pipelines to cut off flows to ports in the Mediterranean, the article claimed.
“There’s been virtually no reliable information coming out of Tripoli, but a source close to the Gaddafi regime I did manage to get hold of told me the already terrible situation in Libya will get much worse. Among other things, Gaddafi has ordered security services to start sabotaging oil facilities. They will start by blowing up several oil pipelines, cutting off flow to Mediterranean ports,” writes Time columnist Robert Baer.
“When Libya stops oil production altogether. Importing countries have a minimum stock to be able to straddle a temporary production breakdown. The situation will become serious if the crisis begins to affect oil production in neighbouring Algeria,” said Gilles Carbonnier, professor at the Geneva-based Graduate Institute, in a SwissInfo interview. “The worst case scenario is if Saudi Arabia, the world leader in oil production, were to be drawn into the wave of political unrest. This could make the oil crisis of the 1970s look like minor events.”
Libya holds Africa’s largest proven oil reserves, which according to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Libya holds around 44 billion barrels of oil reserves, the largest in Africa, and slightly over 54 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas reserves. In 2009, total oil production (crude plus liquids) was approximately 1.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d).