Brussels (UPI) Feb 28, 2011
Moammar Gadhafi's regime has lost control over most of Libya's oil and natural gas fields, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Monday in Brussels.
"We have reason to believe that the majority of the oil and gas fields are no longer under Gadhafi's control," Oettinger told a news conference after a meeting of EU energy ministers.
Instead, regional tribes and opposition leaders have taken over. That's why sanctions targeting the oil and gas sector might not make sense, Oettinger said.
"We might potentially be punishing the wrong people," he said Monday in Brussels, shortly after the European Union had slapped a package of diplomatic sanctions on the inner circle of the Libyan regime following the bloody crackdown on protesters there.
Over the past days, the crisis in Libya and similar protests elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East had pushed oil prices to nearly $120 a barrel. Most of the Libyan oil is exported to refineries in Italy, France and Germany.
Oil production had ground to a halt in Libya amid the unrest but is apparently "about to start again," Oettinger said.
Gas and oil from Libya, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' fourth-largest producer of crude, account for around 3 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of EU imports. They're "not insignificant but they're also not huge," Oettinger said.
Individual countries are affected to a much greater degree than others, however.
Italy, for example, imports 376,000 barrels of Libyan crude a day -- more than one-fifth of the country's overall demand -- figures from the International Energy Agency indicate.
Spain has reduced the maximum speed limit by 6 miles per hour in a bid to save fuel. A country reeling from the economic crisis, Spain is highly dependent on oil imports.
Oettinger said people in Europe needn't fear a new oil crisis, however.
"We have significant oil reserves within the European Union, so our oil companies are in a position to make up for some percent of crude not delivered," Oettinger said. "We also know that the OPEC states and other partners such as Russia are willing to compensate for the hold-up in supplies."
The largest producer in OPEC, Saudi Arabia has already said it was ready to step in for supply losses from Libya.
If the unrest doesn't spread, the oil price will likely reach a peak over the next days and then drop, Oettinger said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Mass evacuations from Libya criss-cross Mediterranean
Catania (AFP) Feb 27, 2011
An Italian warship brought hundreds of foreign nationals from the Libyan port of Misurata to Sicily on Sunday as mass evacuations criss-crossed the Mediterranean and Asian workers returned home. Hundreds of Filipinos, Indians and Vietnamese - part of the oil-rich North African state's giant multinational workforce - said they had feared for their lives as they were greeted back in their ho ... read more
Hong Kong tycoon 'set to clinch British power business'|
Germany's RWE sees tough years ahead
S.Korea, China firms in Vietnam power deal
Energy sector deals to increase, PwC says
British military planes in dramatic Libyan desert rescue
EU: Gadhafi has lost control over oil, gas
China oil producer CNPC halts Libya production
Iraq attack prompts refinery closure
Eon to build fifth U.K. offshore wind farm
GL Garrad Hassan Launches Onshore Wind Resource Mapping For UK
Construction Begins On Dempsey Ridge Wind Project
India's Suzlon wins $1.28 bn wind power deal
Carmanah Releases New Solar LED Outdoor Streetlight
German Solar Market Doubled In 2010
DuPont Microcircuit Materials Launches Next Gen Frontside Silver PV Metallizations
UNI-SOLAR Laminates Installed In Washoe County School District
Court challenge for German nuclear extension
Enhancing Nuclear Security: Training And International Collaboration
Spent Nuclear Fuel Is Anything But Waste
Saudi, France sign peaceful nuclear cooperation pact
Scientists Identify New Implications For Perennial Bioenergy Crops
Brewery Waste Becomes Scientific Fodder For Producing Liquid Biofuels
Overfertilizing Corn Undermines Ethanol
Amyris Technology Performs At Industrial Scale
China Mars probe set for November launch
Shenzhou 8 Mission Could Top Three Weeks
U.S. wary of China space weapons
Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts
Google backs climate-change weather insurance startup
BASIC nations eye next climate meeting
International Consortium To Study Impacts Of Iron Fertilisation
Arctic Environment During An Ancient Bout Of Natural Global Warming
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|