Libya’s NOC Lifts Force Majeure on Safe Oil Ports and Fields


Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has announced on Saturday that it will lift the force majeure currently in place, permitting the production and export of oil from designated safe sites.

“The force majeure is being lifted at all safe oilfields and ports. The orders have been communicated to all operating organisations, as well as to the administrations associated with the national oil structures. They must take up their direct responsibilities and begin production and export,” the NOC said in a statement.

Emergency measures will remain in force at sites where armed groups are present and interfering with operations, the NOC added.

NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said the company’s priority is now to resume production and exports, while accounting for worker and operational safety, and preventing attempts to “politicize the national oil sector.”

The Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Friday that it had reached an agreement with the rival Government of National Accord and tribal factions to conditionally lift a blockade of Libya’s oilfields and terminals, allowing producers to export oil so long as revenues are divided.

The blockade was initially implemented by the LNA in January, amid an escalation in violence between Libya’s warring parties. According to the NOC, the losses incurred from the blockade totalled $9.8 billion as of September.

On 18 September, the LNA announced it reached an agreement to immediately restart oil production and exports with the rival Government of National Accord (GNA).
On the GNA side, the deal was brokered and represented by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, who represents the north western city of Misrata — leaving it unclear if further deal endorsement was required from other GNA parties. The deal duration was also not immediately apparent.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has welcomed the agreement. Last week, the US Embassy to Libya had foreshadowed the deal, announcing that Haftar had agreed to reopen the oil sector by the end of 12 September — a few days earlier than the LNA was able to achieve.