Libyans agree to form unified force safeguarding oil facilities

ASRSG Stephanie Williams attends the first meeting between NOC and the PFG commanders of eastern and western regions, hosted by Breiga’s Sirte Oil Company. [Photo: UNSML]
Libya’s warring sides have agreed to unify forces that protect oil facilities following the United Nations-sponsored talks with the head of the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC).

The talks were held on Monday in Brega, part of the coastal area known as the Oil Crescent.

“Today in this historic location, at this historic moment we launched a process to unify the petroleum facilities guards,” Stephanie Williams, the acting head of the UN’s Support Mission in Libya, told reporters in Brega.

NOC head Mustafa Sanalla said the aim is to create a new protection force that would be made up of civilian and military personnel and its leader would be affiliated with the corporation, according to Ean Libya News Outlet.

This year, oil production was halted for nine months, as forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar shut down oilfields and terminals to put pressure on their rivals, the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) that is based in the capital, Tripoli.

They lifted the blockade in September.

Earlier this month, the NOC said production of Libyan crude oil exceeded one million barrels per day, the same level before the blockade began in January.

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