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Oil Assets Change Hands in MENA Conflicts

Libya's oil fields, pipelines and terminals
July 12 - Libyan rebels have taken a Libyan port that contains an oil terminal, but are continuing to reopen a others.

Rebels last week agreed last week to return control of the Las Ranuf and Es Sider ports to the Libyan government after having held them for about a year.

However July 12 they took control of the Brega port.

The move is part of a recent back-and-forth transfer of oil assets in the Middle East-North Africa conflict.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took and held one of the largest oil fields in Syria July 3. However, the victory did little to move oil markets, with oil ending lower for the week because of a deal with rebels in Libya.

ISIS had taken Al-Omar from a rival al-Qaeda group, the Nusra Front, which had held it since November.

Brent oil dropped to $110.64 a barrel but climbed above $111 again when Asian trading opened Sunday. The change of hands of the the Al-Omar oilfield hand coincided with a deal 1,250 miles to the west, where the government of Libya reached an agreement to take back oil exporting terminals from Libyan rebels who had seized them. That agreement is expected to return about 500,000 barrels of Libya oil to world markets.

But the action in Syria illustrated the growing success of ISIS, an al-Qaeda splinter group that wants to establish a Sunni caliphate, stating in Syria and Iraq but expanding as it is able.

ISIS earlier last month captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and Baiji, one of the largest refineries in Iraq.

For more, read our Libya background information and Syria background information pages.