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Libya’s biggest oilfield won’t restart until militia leaves

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Libya’s biggest oilfield, Sharara, was shut down in December 2018 when state guards and armed residents seized it for financial demands. Since then, not even a drop of oil has been produced by the field which pumps about 300, 000 barrels of a crude oil a day.

Following the gridlock and other crises, Libyans have not had the best of time as they are constantly suffering from major oil disruptions, with multiple battles and blockades hindering efforts to revive output.

And to worsen matters, the country’s state-run National Oil Corp, have refused to restart the Sharara field after militants seized and declared it secure earlier this month, according to Bloomberg. 

“NOC won’t resume production while armed groups are there, the company’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla said on Sunday.  But, the Libyan National Army, loyal to eastern leader Khalifa Haftar, controls the field and said it’s ready to restart.

Sanalla said that “the circumstances that made us declare force majeure still exist now and therefore we can’t lift the ban,”. The “reality is the field is still not safe.”, he said, adding that the safety concerns haven’t been addressed.

Sharara is a joint venture between Libya’s NOC, Repsol SA, Total SA, OMV AG and Equinor ASA.

Source Bloomberg Reuters
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