01 Apr '11, 9pm

The politics of oil: Wells of anxiety - TODAYonline

Surrounded by gigantic sand dunes, El-Sharara oil field is one of Libya's biggest. Perched on the edge of the Sahara south of Tripoli, the installation was smoothly pumping about 300,000 barrels a day of high-quality crude down an 800km pipeline to the Mediterranean coast until a few weeks ago. Operated by Repsol YPF of Spain, the multi-billion-dollar project was seen as a sign that the Libyan energy sector, after 20 years of under-investment and isolation, was enjoying a revival. But as political unrest broke out in the North African country in late February, foreign workers at the field rushed to a remote desert airstrip and left, having halting output from the wells. As one executive puts it, the last man, literally, shut down the field. Thousands of other foreign workers at fields such as Waha and Amal - workhorses of the country's industry since oil was discovered in ...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentary/EDC110402-0000560/T...

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