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Libyan risks for energy balance growing

Confrontation between Qaddafi's forces and rebels continues. Combat operations do not bring domination to either side but rather result in the stalemate situation of permanent chaos. The latter is a very disadvantageous situation for national exports of hydrocarbons as they require stability and existence of some government to make contracts with.

The consequences of a military operation by the USA and its allies against Qaddafi may be hard to forecast. Direct interference of these players can theoretically eliminate "the leader of the Libyan revolution" like the Soviet Union acted against Hafizullah Amin in 1979, but this may cause sharp discontent in the Arab world that is actually not quite happy about Washington's participation in the Middle East affairs. But even if Qaddafi resigns, this will not guarantee stable work of the Libyan oil and gas industry - civil war in the country may well continue between different ethnic and social groups.

The variant of Qaddafi staying in power for some time does not settle the problem. On the contrary, there are variants that "the revolution leader" may be ready to destroy the country's oil infrastructure in a critical moment. According to media reports, the Libyan Air Force has lately bombed Ras Lanuf controlled by rebels, a strategically important oil center located 600km to the east from Tripoli.

By Stanistav Mitrakhovich, NESF leading expert



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