The Sharara oil fields in Libya’s far southwest are needed to fuel Libya’s latest power start-up. Switching to nearby undeveloped gas fields is the longer term plan. But the latest instability shows just what an uphill task this will be.

Libyan state power firm Gecol finally started up a 640MW power plant at Ubari in the country’s far southwest on 14 July (MEES, 19 July). But less than a week later fuel supplies to the plant were cut off, with the latest shut-in at the...