Firefighters work to put out the fire of a storage oil tank at the port of Es Sider in Ras Lanuf December 29, 2014. Reuters.
(Reuters) – Libya’s recognized government has contracted a U.S. firefighter firm to help extinguish fires at storage tanks at the Es Sider oil port, a spokesman said on Monday.
Work would start within five days, government spokesman Mohamed Bazaza said, confirming a statement on a government website. The value of the contract was $6 million, the statement said, without naming the company. Fire has been raging for days at several storage tanks at Es Sider, Libya’s biggest oil port, due to clashes of brigades allied with competing governments vying for control of the country’s oil facilities.
Another Reuters report says that “A fire raging for almost a week at Libya’s biggest oil port of Es Sider has destroyed up to 1.8 million barrels of crude and damaged seven storage tanks, causing total damage of $213 million.”
Despite this, the price of oil continues to fall, hitting a five-year low: Oil continues decline on supply glut despite weaker dollar
Meanwhile: (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives in front of a hotel where Libya’s elected parliament was in session in the eastern city of Tobruk on Tuesday, wounding three deputies and eight others, the assembly’s spokesman said.
The bombing is the biggest attack on the parliament since it set up in Tobruk, near the Egyptian border. The assembly, which was elected in June, shifted its seat to Tobruk for security reasons after violence in its planned location, the eastern port city of Benghazi, worsened.
The car exploded in a parking lot near the entrance gate to the hotel as lawmakers sat in a nearby hall, parliamentary spokesman Farraj Hashem told Reuters by phone. Three deputies and eight hotel staff were wounded, he said.
Until now, Tobruk has been relatively secure compared to the rest of Libya, which has been in violent turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled nearly four years ago. A car bomb in November targeted the city, but not parliament itself.