Chairman of Libya’s NOC rejects reopening Sharara oilfield for security reasons

Chairman of Libya’s state oil firm NOC, Mustafa Sanallah [Photo: Libyan Express]
The Chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah said in a video statement late on Sunday that the NOC won’t reopen the biggest oilfield in the country “Sharara” because there are still armed militias and lack of security in there.

He explained in the video that Sharara oilfield is closed because of the presence of a group of civilians, the armed militia, and some military people with them.

“NOC’s conditions for reopening Sharara, including safety for oil workers and the departure of the armed group responsible for the field’s closure, had not yet been met. The field is not yet safe,” Sanallah explained.

Referring to the forces under Khalifa Haftar’s control as army, Sanallah said he contacted them and talked the issue with the general command.

Sharara oilfield has been closed since December 2018, when Petroleum Facilities Guard personnel and tribesmen seized it to make financial demands, the latest in several such closures over the past few years.

After an operation by Haftar’s forces in the south that started in January, and his forces managed in early February to seize control of Sharara oilfield and El Feel oilfield, calling on the NOC to lift force majeure and restart production, but the latter refused citing security vacuum.

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