Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Gunmen shuts Libya oil fields

NOC declared force majeure at the Al-Sharara and Al-Fil fields


TRIPOLI, Libya (AFP) — Libya’s National Oil Corporatio­n (NOC) announced on Sunday the suspension of production from two major oil fields after an armed group shut down valves delivering crude.

The NOC declared force majeure at the Al-Sharara and Al-Fil fields due to the shutdown, according to a statement published on Facebook.

Declaring force majeure is a legal move allowing parties to free themselves from contractua­l obligation­s when factors such as fighting or natural disasters make meeting them impossible.

The company said the move would result in “losses of 330,000 barrels per day and a daily loss exceeding 160 million Libyan dinars” or about $35 million.

Oil revenues are vital to the economy of Libya, a country sitting on Africa’s largest known reserves.

NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla said Sunday that Libyan oil infrastruc­ture was often the target of attacks “in plain sight.”

The Al-Sharara field, in the desert 900 kilometers south of Tripoli, is operated by a joint venture between the NOC and four European companies.

It contribute­s up to 315,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Libya’s national production of 1.2 million bpd, a figure still down from around 1.6 million bpd prior to dictator Moamer Kadhafi’s fall in 2011.

Al-Fil, some 750 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, is jointly managed by the NOC and Italian energy giant Eni and produces around 70,000 bpd.

The NOC is one of the few institutio­ns to have stayed in one piece despite a decade of violence that has for years seen Libya with two government­s.

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