Libya’s state oil firm reopens 50.000 bpd oilfield

The NOC building in Tripoli (Photo: Archive)

The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on Sunday reopening the eastern Assarah oilfields, which produce more than 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) but had been shut in by a blockade since last November.

According to sources reported by Reuters, two wells started pumping on Sunday and production was expected to reach around 55,000 bpd by Monday.

The NOC said the municipality of the EJekharra oasis decided to reopen the fields under pressure from the NOC and Libya’s public prosecutor.

“The fields are in a concession held by Germany’s Wintershall , which the NOC blamed for an “unauthorised” shutdown it said had cost Libya more than $281 million.” According to the NOC.

the NOC also called the decision to reopen the fields a “humiliating setback” for a parallel NOC based in eastern Libya, which for several years has tried to gain control over the production and sale of Libyan oil.

“The restart is a humiliating setback for the parallel structure set up by the interim government and for its campaign to shut down Libyan production in the Wahat region and beyond,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said in an NOC statement.

“The public prosecutor will continue to investigate this crime. The perpetrators and others considering using the tactic should remember this is a very serious offence for which there is no statute of limitations,” Sanallah added.

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