Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) on August 7 called on rival armed groups to avoid destroying the oil port of Zueitina.
The Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) inked a deal in July this year to reopen the country’s three oil ports, Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, and Es Sidra, that PFG has been blockading.
The Libyan National Army (LNA), a rival government which is opposed to GNA, has been threatening to destroy all tankers entering the port without its permission.
Expressing its concern at reports of imminent conflict between the two sides, NOC addressed the LNA and PFG “to avoid further destruction to vital national infrastructure”.
“We ask both sides to respect the facilities at Zueitina. They and the oil in storage there belong to the people of Libya, and can be used for the economic reconstruction of our country. A resumption of oil exports from Zueitina will benefit all Libyans. The PFG and the LNA have a responsibility in front of all the Libya people to preserve the infrastructure there. A battle in which they are destroyed is not one that should have been fought,” Mustafa Sanalla, NOC chairman, said.
Sanalla also asked the confronted sides to withhold from actions threatening to the infrastructure, “including using the facilities as a physical shield”.
Moreover, NOC chairman asked both sides to enable NOC safe passage to move the oil stored at the port to a safe location before any operations commence.
Additionally, NOC is preparing port of Es Sider, which is able to export 340,000 barrels a day, for reopening.