Libya shuts down Sharara field after COVID-related death

Published: 1 September 2020 - 2:15 p.m.
By: Carla Sertin

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has shut down the country's biggest oil field, Sharara, after one employee was infected and died of coronavirus.

In a written statement, NOC Libya said that the Petroleum Facilities Guard and foreign mercenaries broke into the field on 29 August, and their employee was infected the following day after mingling among them.

NOC chairman Eng. Mustafa Sanalla gave his condolences, and said: “I also deeply regret the deterioration of the security situation and, currently, the hygiene conditions at oilfields which have gone out of control. The Akakus and Sharara oilfield administrations were not able to protect the employees from the spread of the pandemic inside the field due to the PFG’s and foreign mercenaries’ disregard for measures to counter the coronavirus. Consequently, we will evacuate the field and completely stop all its operations”.

The relevant departments at Akakus and NOC finalized a plan to impose a two-week quarantine on the employees at the field to ensure they have not been infected with the virus. Akakus is a joint venture between NOC, Repsol, Equinor, and OMV.

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