Libya’s state oil firm says concerned over military presence in oil facilities
The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) has expressed deep concerns over what it has described as an increased military presence at Ras Lanuf oil terminal, saying such presence is potentially making it a military objective.
“These actions could result in the withdrawal of NOC personnel from the port for their safety.” NOC said in a statement on Thursday.
The NOC added that a group of around 80 military personnel under the command of Major General Abdullah Nur al-Din Al-Hamali entered the port on Wednesday, June 05, 2019, saying the group has taken over a building within the terminal and is converting it for military use.
“In addition, forces have attempted to fuel a warship, appropriated meals designated for staff, and seized 31 dormitories allocated to Harouge Oil Operations (HOO) employees – the NOC subsidiary operating the port.” The statement reads.
The Chairman of the NOC, Mustafa Sanallah, said the NOC works on behalf of all Libyans, adding that they cannot accept a situation where any party to the current conflict misuses oil facilities.
“The presence of forces inside the terminal represents an unacceptable risk to employees. This renders the terminal a potential military target, thereby risking the destruction of Libyan oil infrastructure – and the resulting economic crisis that would follow.” Sanallah added.
NOC indicated that it will not compromise on the safety of staff.
“If risk assessment indicates that continued operations present an unacceptable risk to workers, the corporation will take steps necessary to protect them – including their withdrawal from the terminal.” The statement adds.
NOC reiterated as well that it is operating neutrally, adopting a non-partisanship and detachment from the ongoing conflict.