Conflict over Libya oil drastically reduces production
The Tripoli-based National Oil Corp.(NOC) said oil fields responsible for the bulk of Libyan oil production will be forced to stop production within a month unless the blockade is lifted on the port of Hariga at Tobruk, in eastern Libya.
|Mohamed Harari, a spokesperson for the NOC, said: “In less than four weeks we will have to shut production completely because the tanks at Hariga will be full. The blockade will cause serious harm and bring no benefits.” The eastern part of Libya is controlled by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) under prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni which has a rival National Oil Company based in the east. The HoR said that it would not allow any tankers to load and depart Hariga without their approval.|
The spokesman of the NOC, Mohammed Al-Harari, confirmed that one of the oil officials in Al-Thanni government – Al-Mabrouk Sultan, had ordered Al-Khaleej Al-Arabi Oil Company not to load oil on a tanker related to the Tripoli-based NOC.Exports through Hariga constitute about three quarters of present Libyan exports. Last week, the Arabian Gulf Oil Co. which ships through Hariga said production had been dropped from 240,000 barrels a day to just 90,000. Harari also noted the oil from some of the local fields is high in wax, and if oil does not keep moving through the pipelines it could solidify causing permanent production loss. NOC Tripoli-based chairman Mustafa Sanalia said: “Open the ports for the wellbeing of our country. Unity is the only solution.” Sanalia also pointed out: "The worst thing is this blockade will achieve nothing. In terms of legitimacy, which is what the blockaders want, it is a dead end." The HoR says that it plans to export more oil through its own NOC but given that their earlier attempt was unsuccessful it is not clear how any further attempts could succeed.