Libya’s state oil firm declares force majeure on Sharara oilfield

UPDATE 4-Production at Libya’s Sharara oil field returns to normal after protest – NOC

Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) has declared force majeure on operations at the country’s largest oilfield, Sharara, a week after the firm announced a contractual waiver on exports from the field following its seizure by militants.

Exports from the smaller El Feel oilfield were continuing, field engineers said, as workers had maintained its power supply, which is shared with Sharara.

Sharara closed last week after tribesmen and security guards took it over.

Production from Sharara, located in the south of the North African OPEC member country, will restart only after “alternative security arrangements are put in place,” NOC said in a statement late on Monday.

“Clearly we cannot return to the security situation we were in before the field was shut,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah was quoted as saying in the statement.

The local militia group that seized the 315,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Sharara is demanding payments and development funds for the neglected south, NOC said.

El Feel, also located in the south, has not been affected and is pumping around 70,000 bpd, a field engineer told Reuters.

Its exports were being routed via the Melittah oil and gas port, which like El Feel belongs to a joint venture NOC has with Italian energy company Eni, another engineer said.

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