Assessments were started on what needs to be done to lift force majeure and restart exports from oil crescent ports in Libya as soon as possible, according to Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC).
“We welcome statements from the Libyan National Army allied with House of Representatives and the president of the HoR, Aguila Saleh, that the ports should be placed under NOC’s control,” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla.
He added that the production could be increased to 600,000 b/d within four weeks and to 950,000 b/d by the end of the year from the current production capacity of around 290,000 b/d.
However, this is dependent on receiving essential funds from the budget and on the oil crescent ports and the closed pipelines in the southwest being opened and kept open, Sanalla said.
According to Daily Mail, the country’s fourth oil port of Brega was seized by forces opposed to Libya’s unity government on Tuesday, after they took control of oil terminals at Ras Lanuf, Es Sidra and Zueitina a few days earlier.
Although political space has opened in Libya and there is progress in the fight against terrorism, the political divisions underpinning the North African country’s conflict are deepening, a United Nations envoy warned.
Drawing attention to the challenging security situation, further illustrated by the most recent violence in the country’s Oil Crescent area, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Martin Kobler, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent any damage to the country’s oil industry, its only source of income.
“Libyan natural resources belong to all Libyans,” he said, adding that they “must be protected and exported legally under the authority of the Presidency Council (PC).”
In August, NOC called on rival armed groups to avoid destroying the oil port of Zueitina and secure safe passage of vessels to the terminal.
Under an agreement signed in July 2016, the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) agreed to reopen the country’s three oil ports, Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, and Es Sidra, that PFG has been blockading due to a pay dispute.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Shipspotting