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Force majeure state in Libya after the blockade of five oil export ports in the east of the country

January 18, 2020
Milicianos que apoyan al Gobierno libio frente a las fuerzas de Haftar

Militiamen who support the Libyan government against the forces of Haftar – Amru Salahuddien / dpa – Archive

The National Petroleum Company (NOC) of Libya has declared on Saturday the force majeure state after denouncing that the forces of the Libyan National Army (ENL), at the service of the parallel government of the east of the country, have blocked oil exports in five ports in the region and have exposed the entire country to the loss of 60 percent of daily crude oil production.

“The NOC declares force majeure after the Libyan National Army has blocked oil exports from the ports of Brega, Ras Lanuf, Hariga, Zueitina and Sidra,” the company said in its Facebook account.

Force majeure state in Libya after the blockade of five oil export ports in the east of the countryForce majeure state in Libya after the blockade of five oil export ports in the east of the country

The NOC is responsible for closing the ENL General Command exclusively for “instructing the Sirte Oil Company, Harouge Oil Operations, Waha Oil Company, Zueitina Oil Company and Arab Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), all subsidiaries of the NOC” to stop exports by direct order of the commander of the protection forces of oil facilities, General Nagi al Moghrabi, and the chief of operations for the Greater Sirte region, in the east of the country, Colonel Ali al Jilani.

“This closure will result in a loss of 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day in production and approximate daily costs of 55 million dollars,” according to the statement.

Previously it has been announced that groups of supporters of Marshal Jalifa Haftar – strong man of this parallel government – have cut the entrance to the port of Tobruk in a force show less than 24 hours from the start of the peace conference of Berlin to find a solution to the conflict in the North African country.

Tobruk is the seat of this government that does not have international recognition, and yet has access to much of the country's energy wealth.

This Friday the tribal leaders of the region announced their intention to close access and deposits in the region by understanding that the benefits, in fact, were being brought by the authorities of Tripoli, the Government recognized by the international community.

The NOC is an organization that, in principle, falls under the control of the Government of Tripoli, legitimized by international powers, but for some time this party has starred with the authorities for lack of funds for the financing of its production operations.

Haftar forces spokesman Ahmed al Mismari later told reporters that the “Libyan people” had closed the oil ports, according to statements collected by the 'Libyan Express'. The daily production of crude oil in Libya is approximately 1.3 million barrels of crude oil per day.

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“The oil and gas sector is the vital element of the Libyan economy and the only source of income for the Libyan people. Oil and oil facilities belong to the Libyan people. They are not cards to play to resolve political issues,” there were lamented this Friday the president of the company, Mustafa Sanalla, in statements to the same media.

“If the closing is prolonged, we face the collapse of the exchange rate, a huge and unsustainable increase in the national deficit, the departure of foreign contractors and the loss of future production that can take years to restore,” he said.

Sanalla also warned Haftar forces of the counterproductive nature of this operation to paralyze the country's ports. “The main beneficiaries will be other oil-producing states and the damage will be entirely for the Libyans. This is like setting fire to their own home,” he warned.

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