Recent events in Libya could trigger new world energy crisis

Recent events in Libya could trigger new world energy crisis

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 23 / Trend A. Tagiyeva /

The riots in Libya have already led to the halt of oil production in the country and could cause another energy crisis in the world, Chief Economist at the Egyptian Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS) Ahmed el Sayed al Naggar said.

"If oil production at one of the largest Libyan oil fields - Nafora - does not recover soon, it could trigger a new energy crisis worldwide," Al Naggar told Trend over the telephone from Cairo.

Protests against the ruling regime and unrests in Libya are ongoing since Feb. 15. According to international organizations, the number of victims of the riots may reach 500 and the number of injured may hit 4,000. The unrest halted activities at all oil fields and most refineries of the country.

Al-Naggar believes if oil production in Libya fully stops, it is not excluded that world oil prices could exceed the record level of $147 per barrel recorded in 2008.

Following a growth at 2-3 percent on Feb.21, world oil prices increased the next day for another 9.3 percent.

Al Naggar said the termination of oil production will also strongly affect the economy of Libya itself, since oil is the main source of income.

"About 95 percent of Libya's exports are accounted for crude oil sale. If the country's oil production stops, the economy will greatly suffer and the consequences can be serious," Al Naggar added.

However, he said, it could have a positive impact on the economies of other oil-producing countries, especially those whose oil quality is close to Libya's.

"Other oil-producing countries may take advantage of these events in Libya," Al Naggar added.

He believes the cessation of oil production in Libya would adversely affect the European economy, since a large share of their oil imports accounted for Libya's oil.

"In this regard, Europe will try to do everything possible to change the current situation in Libya," Al-Naggar said.

Libya is eighth in terms of crude oil producers among the 12 OPEC countries and third in Africa, after Nigeria and Angola. It occupies less than two percent of global oil production. The main importer of Libyan oil is Italy, followed by Germany, France and Spain

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