Militants operating in Libya have attacked three oilfields and a pipeline in the eastern part of the North African country, Libyan officials say.
The attacks were carried out on Monday when the militants targeted Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields and caused damage to a pipeline carrying crude to the Es Sidra port. Reports say the attacks ignited a blaze at each facility.
Reports say Libyan security forces repelled an attack by militants on a third oilfield, al-Dahra.
Libyan officials have blamed militants loyal to the ISIS terrorists group for the attacks.
On February 14, a bomb explosion at a pipeline halted the operations of El Sarir oil field in northern Libya. The attack, which was also blamed on ISIS loyals, set fire to the pipeline and shut off the flow to Hariga port.
Oil is the main source of revenue for Libya, which is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, the question of the ownership of the Libyan oil resources has baffled international buyers as the African country currently has two governments, parliaments, and armies.
According to statistics, the North African country’s oil production has plummeted to 350,000 barrels per day (bpd), showing a drastic decline in comparison with the country’s 1.6 million bpd production before the 2011 revolution.
Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.
Of the two rival camps vying for the control of the country, one controls the capital, Tripoli, and the other, Libya’s internationally recognized government, governs the cities of Bayda and Tobruk.
Libya’s government and elected parliament moved to the eastern city of Tobruk after an armed group based in the northwestern city of Misrata seized Tripoli and most government institutions in August 2014.
Many fear that the power struggle between the two rival governments and armed groups in Libya would push the North African country deeper into chaos.
Exploiting the power vacuum in the Libya, ISIS militants, which control some regions in Iraq and Syria, have expanded their acts of terror to the violence-wracked North African country.
In February, 45 people were killed and dozens of others injured in ISIS’s triple bomb explosions that struck Libya’s northeastern city of al-Qubah.
In the same month, the ISIS also released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. The victims had reportedly been abducted in Libya’s northern coastal city of Sirte in two attacks in December and January.