Libya Lifts Force Majeure on El-Sharara Oil Field

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Early Tuesday, Libya National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced that it had lifted the state of force majeure, and resumed production at the El-Sharara oil field.

According to Afrigatenews, two oil engineers at the field stated that operations were halted on 3 March, after a pipeline valve was shut down.

On Sunday, the Libya NOC announced the closure of valves pumping crude oil from the El-Sharara and El-Feel fields. This has resulted in a loss of 330,000 barrels per day, and a daily loss of more than 160 million Libyan dinars.

In this regard, NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla said that a gang led by Mohamed Bashir Al-Qurg closed the crude pumping valves, and “our obligations towards refiners in the oil market became impossible.”

Sanalla announced a state of force majeure, asking, “For whose sake are these closures coming after the price jump, which exceeds $100 a barrel?”

“The same Libya gang closed these valves between 2014 and 2016, and this coincided with the price boom. All these indicators confirm that they have suspicious links to drag the country into chaos,” he added.

Sanalla indicated that a report was submitted to the Public Prosecution to, “take deterrent and accurate measures to reveal the planners, implementers, and beneficiaries of this shameful act.”

“The closure challenge was not the most difficult or most dangerous for the stability of the oil sector. It will end, God willing, but it is the most painful for all Libyans. The parties decided to close at the time of the price boom. The next steps must be firm and governed by the legal criminal standard. There is no choice but to criminally prosecute them with the Public Prosecution,” he added.

Sanalla warned that the infrastructure of the oil sector “will continue to be exposed to illegal acts, such as scrapping production lines and surface equipment, in full view of everyone.”

He pointed out that this resulted in difficult economic challenges, exacerbated by the lack of a budget.