By Libya Herald Reporters.
Benghazi and Tripoli, 28 December 2014:
The fires that have blazed in five of Sidra’s 21 oil storage tanks . . .[restrict]have so far consumed $100 million-worth of oil and sent oily soot 120 kilometres away around Brega, the National Oil Corporation said today.
Three of the fires started by Libyan Dawn attacks on Thursday have now been extinguished or have burnt themselves out. Local firefighters, backed by firemen from Ras Lanuf and Brega are still grappling with the remaining two burning oil tanks, while cooling down surrounding tanks to try and stop them taking as well.
NOC executive Mohammed Naji Ahfif praised the efforts of the fire teams. Though there had been government appeals for international help, in particularly from the Italians who assisted in the dousing of serious forest fires in the Green mountains in May 2013, Ahfif said that the fires had been brought under control entirely through local efforts. Italy has said that it would help but that fighting in the area must stop first.
Ahfif added that he deeply regretted the loss of some 1.63 million barrels of oil in the blazing tanks, which he said represented a loss to the Libyan people of almost $100 million in income.
Sidra is the country’s largest oil export terminal able to handle up to 300,000 b/d of oil exports a day.