Thursday, September 5, 2013

Libyan Anarchy Has Taken 1.2 Million Barrels/Day Off the World Market

About that Arab Spring thingy...
From Walter Russell Mead:

Armed Protestors Bring Libya to Its Knees
The price of oil has risen significantly in recent weeks, and though many are attributing the spike to the prospect of a US strike on Syria, severe supply disruptions in Libya could be the more likely culprit. Armed protesters have shut down oil export ports, leading some analysts to deem the disruption “as bad as [the] 2011 civil war.” Libyan oil production is currently hovering at just 150,000 barrels a day, a far cry from the 1.4 million barrels it was pumping out daily in April. What little oil it is producing is coming from offshore platforms—places protesters can’t reach. The situation has gotten so bad that Libya’s highest religious authority issued a fatwa decrying the protests, though there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. As one analyst told Reuters, ”It’s a tribal society flushed with weapons and many different groups want their share of the oil wealth, so logic calls for continued disruption.”

Libya’s budget depends almost entirely on oil and gas production, and every day the protests continue leeches money from government coffers. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has run out of patience, telling reporters at a recent news conference that the protesters are committing “a national crime that is tantamount to treason, because [they] are cutting the income of Libyans....MORE