10 days of oil blockade cost Libya over $502 million

The building housing Libya’s oil state energy firm, the National Oil Corporation (NOC), is seen in Tripoli, Libya. [Photo: Archive]
Total losses from the closure of Libya’s major oil fields and production facilities has accelerated, reaching more than $502 million over a 10-day period, the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said Tuesday.

The oil closures came when powerful tribal groups loyal to Khalifa Haftar earlier this month seized several large export terminals along Libya’s eastern coast as well as southern oil fields.

The National Oil Corporation, which dominates Libya’s critical oil industry, said, “The total value of losses since the beginning of the blockades has reached $502,289,339 as of Monday, January 27, 2020.” It put the average daily loss at $50.2 million.

The corporation said oil production had fallen from over 1.2 million barrels a day before the seizures to 271,204 barrels on Monday.

Seeking to reassure Libyans, the corporation said fuel levels in the country’s central and eastern regions “remain sufficient.” It added, however, that the western and southern regions have faced “some supply shortage due to the deteriorating security situation.”

The closure came just two days before world powers with interests in Libya’s long-running conflict pledged at a conference in Berlin to respect a much-violated arms embargo and push opposing factions to reach a ceasefire.

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