Gulf of Sidra and Cyrenaica
In a statement to Reuters on 26 July, Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak stated that Libya’s largest refinery at Ras Lanuf, has yet to resume operations, but will restart as soon as possible. The Ras Lanuf facility can process 220,000 bpd and accounts for over half of Libya’s oil refining capacity. The plant is run by a joint venture between Libya’s NOC and the Emirates-based Al Ghurair group.
The last seven days have seen several reported incidents in Benghazi, likely attributed to rival armed groups and Islamist/Jihadist cells. The issue of semi-autonomy also remain a point of tension which may spark further pro and anti demonstrations as the political framework for the new assembly takes shape. Benghazi has seen a surge in assassination attempts against former military and security officials, with around thirteen killed over the past month.
On 26 July, Libyan media reported that that a former internal security employee under the Qadhafi regime died after a bomb detonated under his car in the Benghazi area. On the night of 28 July, a former military intelligence official, Colonel Suleiman Bouzz-Redah was killed while on his way to a mosque in Benghazi. According to the report Bouzz-Redah had defected from the Qadhafi regime and joined the rebel forces in 2011. Unconfirmed reports also claimed that Bouzz-Redah was named on an assasination list of 106 Qadhafi-era officials drawn up by Islamist groups.
A hand grenade was reported to have been thrown at Benghazi’s Court of Appeals on 27 July. The same building was targeted by three explosive devices on 27 April. Security sources have stated that an investigation is underway regarding this latest incident. On 29 July, a convoy carrying a top Libyan military commander, General Khalifa Hifter came under fire in Benghazi by unknown assailants. According to the report General Hifter has been appointed by the interim ruling council to help form the national army.
Unconfirmed reports have claimed that a car bomb containing at least 40 kg of explosives was found behind the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) building in Benghazi on 27 July. Libyan media also reported that a 60 kg bomb was found at the Tibesti Hotel in the city on 29 July. Both devices were reported to have been defused. The Tibesti is one of Benghazi’s top hotels and is frequented by visiting businessmen and politicians as well as diplomats and NTC officials.