ISIL attacks Libyan oil facilities now operating at one-fourth 2011 production levels

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Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) jihadists attacked security forces at Libya’s Es Sider oil terminal on Jan. 4.

ISIL jihadists in Sirte, Libya.
ISIL jihadists in Sirte, Libya.

Two guards were killed in the attack. ISIL said it attacked the Es Sider site after seizing the nearby town of Ben Jawad, although there was no independent confirmation of the town’s capture.

In a separate attack, an ISIL rocket caused a fire at an oil storage tank at nearby Ras Lanuf, witnesses and a guard told Reuters.

A spokesman for Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) said the tank contained about 400,000 barrels of oil. The NOC said it was still trying to put out the fire late on Jan. 4.

Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, Libya’s largest oil ports, lie between Sirte and Benghazi and have been closed down for a year. ISIL has controlled the port city of Sirte since the summer of 2015 but has yet to seize any Libyan oil installations.

Libya’s crude oil production has dropped to less than a quarter of a 2011 high of 1.6 million barrels per day.