Oil Prices Yet to React to Libyan Situation at Brega

Mar 15, 2011, 06:05

Oil prices remain settled around $101 per barrel Tuesday morning, despite ongoing strife in Libya's oil town of Brega. Government forces and rebels fought for control of Brega, with each side, at one time or another, claiming the upper hand, witnesses said.

Rebel fighters may be staying inside the oil installation in Brega, apparently believing the government doesn't want to attack the facility, witnesses told the BBC.

Opposition sources said there was dissent among government troops, with some apparently reluctant to fire on civilians

Reports elsewhere indicate government forces moved into the rebel-held town of Zuwarah and were shelling Misurata, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Since protesters began rallying against Moammar Gadhafi's regime in mid-February, Libya has degenerated into civil war, humanitarian organizations said. Heavily armed pro-Gadhafi forces have attacked rebel strongholds on land and by air. Rights organizations estimated 1,000 to 2,000 people have died.

A United Nations envoy traveled to Libya, asking for an end to the violent response to opposition protests and immediate humanitarian access, officials said. Abdul Ilah Khatib, a former Jordanian prime minister, met Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa in Tripoli, Libya's capital to discuss the situation, a U.N. spokesman said.

Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations discussed the crisis during a summit in Paris, but indications are that the countries are divided about the effectiveness of any intervention, the BBC said.

France has advocated a no-fly zone over Libya, but the United States, Russia and other European Union countries have reacted with caution to the proposal. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary of Clinton, who is attending the G8 meeting, met with Mahmoud Jibril, an opposition leader in Libya, for 45 minutes in Paris to discuss what assistance the United States could provide beyond humanitarian aid.

Source: UPI