Sabotage at Sharara halts production from Libya's largest oil field

Sabotage at Sharara halts production from Libya's largest oil field
Published: 1 August 2019 - 7:30 a.m.
By: Carla Sertin

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) reinstated force majeure on crude oil loadings at Zawiya port as of 30 July. This was prompted by the illegal closure of a Sharara pipeline valve, which halted crude oil supply from Sharara, the nation's largest oil field, to the port. This is the second illegal valve closure and breach of pipeline security by unidentified perpetrators in the last ten days.

Staff from NOC’s subsidiary, Akakus Oil Operations, attempted to reopen the valve but were prevented from doing so by a local armed group. Negotiations are ongoing in an effort to restart production.

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said: "This latest incident only serves to highlight the fragility of our security environment and total disregard for the impact of such acts on the lives of everyday Libyans. The loss of production at Libya’s largest oilfield severely disrupts power supply to the grid and continued funding of basic services. This is most acutely felt by communities in the South.

"The perpetrators of this incident must be brought to justice and the rule of law upheld. Adequate operational budget must be secured to strengthen industrial security procedures to prevent further such incidents," he continued.

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