Armed group blocks key oil field in Libya

2018-12-10 18:22


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

An armed group has seized one of Libya's largest oilfields in the country's southwest, the state-owned National Oil Corporation said on Monday.

The seizure of Sharara oilfield prompted the company to declare a "force majeure" on exports from the field.

"National Oil Corporation (NOC) hereby declares a state of force majeure at the Akakus-operated Sharara oil field as of Sunday," the company said in an online statement.

Akakus is a joint venture between NOC, Spain's Repsol energy company, France's Total, Austria's OMV and Norway's Statoil.

It produces some 315 000 barrels per day, out of Libya's current output of one million bpd.

Force majeure, invoked in exceptional circumstances, exempts the company from liability in case of non-compliance with oil delivery contracts.

Oil facilities in Libya are regularly targeted by rival armed groups, local militias or tribes vying for power or pushing for their social demands to be met.

NOC, which is reviewing procedures to evacuate employees, urged local authorities to "act in the national interest and return security to the site".

It also called on the group to leave the oilfield "immediately without pre-condition", ruling out negotiations with a militia.

"The presence of this group is a real threat to the field and to the future of our country," said NOC chairman Moustafa Sanalla. "I want to be clear, this militia has to leave the field immediately."

Libya has plunged into chaos following a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Two competing administrations, rival militias, tribes and jihadists have been vying for control of territory and the country's vast oil wealth.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.