Gaddafi Threatens to Torch Libya's Oil

Source:

"Will Gaddafi instigate another Desert Storm?"

According to Reuters, Libyan oil production is already down to three-quarters of normal. And that could soon plunge to zero. . .If it's true that a desperate Col. Gaddafi is looking to torch the pipelines leading from his country's oil fields to Mediterranean ports.

"Gaddafi has ordered security services to start sabotaging oil facilities," a source close to the regime tells Time intelligence columnist (and former CIA case officer) Robert Baer. "The sabotage, according to the insider, is meant to serve as a message to Libya's rebellious tribes: It's either me or chaos."

"Seriously," muses our own Byron King, "I wonder if any of Gaddafi's goons will pull the trigger. Maybe. . .Saddam Hussein and Desert Storm sort of speaks for itself."

Just in case you need a reminder of what happened 20 years ago this month. . .

middle east oil unrest

. . .As Iraqi forces retreated from Kuwait in 1991, Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to set fire to some 700 oil wells. Nine months passed before the last fire was put out.

Baer says if Gaddafi can't get the tribes back in line, he'll turn Libya into a Somalia. . .with oil. To start that process, he just released some Islamic militant prisoners to stir things up.

It may be just a bluff. Then again, Gaddafi's own interior minister just joined the opposition.

"Oil prices could go up substantially even from these levels," says Vancouver favorite Marc Faber.

"Further gains would, obviously, depend on some political problems," Faber continues—for instance, "some interruptions in oil supplies."

"Things are (finally) starting to come unglued in the Middle East," says Byron King, writing today from his old stomping grounds in the Texas oil patch. "Are you surprised? Much of this discord—great and small—has been festering for a long time.

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