Rebel leaders appealed to the international community for weapons and
combat platforms. They said Gadhafi's forces were moving rapidly through
rebel-held areas toward Brega, which contains a major oil terminal.
The Gadhafi regime touted the capture of Ras Lanuf as a major victory, Middle East Newsline reported.
The son of Gadhafi, Seif Islam, said the regime would retake the entire
"I have two words to our brothers and sisters in the east: We're
coming," Seif said.
Ras Lanuf was deemed a key asset in Libya's energy sector. Opposition
sources said the port would enable Gadhafi to restore Libyan oil exports,
estimated to have dropped by nearly 70 percent over the last month.
"Of course, the production is down drastically, or it is only 500,000
barrels per day, down from 1.6 million barrels per day," Libyan National Oil
Co. chairman Shukri Ghanem said. "The foreign workers went back to their
countries, the Libyans to their families, and of course oil production went
down and oil exports went down."
In a briefing on March 10, Ghanem reported slight damage from Gadhafi
shelling of another oil facility at Al Sidra. But he said the damage would
not affect oil production.
"The whole industry is still working as one," Ghanem said.