Who controls Libya's coastal cities, oil terminals

Reuters, Saturday 26 Feb 2011

Below is a list of main towns along the Mediterranean coast and the latest on who is in control there

Libya oil
Eastern libya's coastal cities are in the hands of opponents.

Libya's popular uprising has threatened to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi, with swathes of the oil-exporting country now in the hands of anti-government rebels following bloody clashes.

Below is a list of main towns from West to East along the Mediterranean coast -- where much of the population lives and where much of the OPEC nation's energy infrastructure is located -- and the latest on who is in control there.

Libya is Africa's No. 3 oil producer and the continent's leader in known reserves.

ZUARA - (120 km West of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION-Escapees crossing into Tunisia have told Reuters that anti-government militias are in control of the city.

SABRATHA - (75 km West of Tripoli)
UNKNOWN. An Egyptian crossing into Tunisia told Reuters on Saturday Sabratha was in the hands of civilians, but the information could not be corroborated. Benghazi-based newspaper Quryna had reported earlier in the week a large number of government troops had deployed there.

ZAWIYAH -- (50 km West of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION. Zawiyah is home to a 120,000 barrel per day (bpd) export refinery and loading terminal.
Witnesses have told Reuters the city is in opposition control, but that the outskirts are occupied by pro-government soldiers. The information could not be confirmed.

TRIPOLI - capital
GOVERNMENT. There is no sign Gaddafi's forces have lost control in the capital. A resident told Reuters on Saturday hundreds of people had gathered in the main square in support of Gaddafi and that a larger demonstration was planned later in the evening. Banks were open in Tripol, but many shops were shut and people were gathered around the few stores selling food. Clashes in the capital have occurred in recent days.

MISRATA - (200 km East of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION. Misrata has a cargo port and a population of several hundred thousand people.
Residents have told Reuters they are in control of the city and successfully beat back a recent counter-attack by pro-Gaddafi forces.

SIRTE - (450 km East of Tripoli)
GOVERNMENT. The Sirte region has many oil production facilities, but Sirte's importance now is mainly psychological: this is Gaddafi's home town. Latest indications are that Sirte is under central control with police and soldiers manning checkpoints.

RAS LANUF (660km East of Tripoli)
UNKNOWN. Ras Lanuf has a 220,000 bpd refiner and a major export terminal that handles a solid share of Libya's oil output. Nearby Es Sider also has an export terminal. Reports of who controls the city are mixed and impossible to verify.

MASRA EL BREGA - (780 km East of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION. There is another large export terminal here,. Residents have said the town is under control of anti-government forces, and a Reuters witness confirmed that. Residents have given varying accounts of whether flows at the Ras Lannuf and Masra El Brega terminals have been affected.

AJDABIYAH (850 km East of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION. The Benghazi-based Quryna newspaper says the city is under anti-govt militia control. The information could not be corroborated.

BENGHAZI (1,000 km east of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION. This is Libya's second biggest city and the flashpoint for the uprising.

SARIR (1,200 km East of Tripoli)
UNKNOWN. Sarir is home to an oil/gas field and a small 10,000 bpd topping facility. It is believed that the area between Ajdabiyah and the Egyptian border is in opposition hands, but this could not be verified.

TOBRUK (1,250 km East of Tripoli)
OPPOSITION. Tobruk has a 20,000 bpd refinery and an oil export terminal. Another 8,000 bpd refinery is located nearby in Brega. Residents have told Reuters the city is under civilian control.

A vast and mostly unpopulated expanse of desert, but home to traditional tribes which will play a crucial role in determining how Libya's crisis unfolds. Facebook reports described clashes in Garyan, about 100 km south of Tripoli, but it was not possible to verify this. There was no information from Ghadames, next to the Algerian border, which is the site of major oil fields. Sabha, deep in the south, is likely to remain loyal to Gaddafi for now. It is the historic home of his own tribe, the Gadhdhfa, the second-largest tribal group in Libya.

(Sources include the U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.eia.doe.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=LY)

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