The National - News

National Oil Corporatio­n in Libya reimposes force majeure on exports

- JENNIFER GNANA

Libya’s National Oil Corporatio­n reimposed force majeure on all oil exports from the North African country, a day after it declared it would start loading shipments.

Force majeure refers to an unforeseen set of circumstan­ces preventing a party from fulfilling a contract.

“The renewed blockade demonstrat­es the urgent need for moves to improve financial transparen­cy to be accompanie­d by reform of security at oil installati­ons,” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla.

The NOC, which loaded the tanker Kriti Bastion at Es Sider port on Saturday, has since halted further loadings from across its facilities.

Forces allied with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar released a statement on Sunday setting down conditions for the reopening of exports from the North African producer. Among the conditions are equitable distributi­on of oil revenue across the country.

The six-month blockade has cost the country $6.5 billion (Dh23.8bn) in lost production.

Much of Libya’s production remained offline during the civil war that erupted between rival factions after the downfall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Production, which stood at about 1.75 million barrels per day, fell by 850,000 bpd in the years that followed as protests and blockades prevented the export of crude oil through the country’s key ports.

In an interview with The National in 2018, Mr Sanalla said the country, whose oil is largely sweet and among the cheapest in northern Africa, needed $60bn to develop its upstream and downstream sectors amid plans to raise its refining capacity to 1 million bpd.

The possibilit­y of Libyan oil returning to the markets comes at a time when Opec+, the alliance led by Saudi Arabia

and Russia, is undertakin­g a historic production cut. Current output restrictio­ns of 9.7 million bpd are set to be eased in a tapered manner this month. The group has pledged to maintain production curbs until April 2022.

A joint ministeria­l monitoring committee of the alliance is set to convene tomorrow to discuss producers’ compliance with the agreement.

Following news of increased output, oil prices fell during the opening session yesterday. Brent, the internatio­nal crude benchmark, was down 0.83 per cent at $42.88 per barrel, while West Texas Intermedia­te, the US gauge, was down 10.79 per cent at $40.23 per barrel at 6.36pm UAE time.

 ?? AFP ?? An oil refinery in Libya’s northern town of Ras Lanuf
AFP An oil refinery in Libya’s northern town of Ras Lanuf

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