UNSMIL expresses its concern at the threat of oil production in Libya halting again

As the NOC forces a state of force majeure on Al-Hariga oil port, UNSMIL reiterates the importance of maintaining Libya's oil production for the stability of the country's economy

The NOC recently shut down Al-Hariga’s oil port due to the Central Bank’s withholding of the necessary financial arrangements. [Photo: UNSMIL]
The UN Support Mission in Libya is concerned about the recent shutdown of oil production at Al-Hariga oil port, as well as signs that further shutdowns could be on the way.

In a press released, UNSMIL stressed that the uninterrupted output of oil, as well as the NOC’s independence and impartiality, are critical components of Libya’s economic, social, and political stability.

The UN Mission added that to fight corruption, all parties must ensure that the NOC remains an autonomous, technocratic, and well-resourced entity, as well as open and equal resource management, as outlined in the LPDF Roadmap. This is vital information for the Libyan government, which has been asked to boost basic service delivery to the Libyan citizens.

The statement concluded with UNSMIL reiterating that Libya is only now emerging from a protracted and expensive war, and there are numerous urgent needs to be addressed in order to improve the quality of life for Libyans across the country.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared a state of force majeure as of April 19 on Al-Hariga oil port and ceased all production and export of crude oil shipments through the port.

According to a statement issued by the NOC, the force majeure is due to the refusal of the Central Bank of Libya to liquidate the oil sector budget for months on end, which has exacerbated the indebtedness of some companies, primarily Arabian Gulf Oil, which has lost the capacity to meet its financial and technical obligations and forced it to reduce the country’s crude oil production by about 280,000 barrels per day.

The NOC strongly denounced the Central Bank’s withholding of the financial arrangements necessary for the continuation of its operations, noting that it did not support any action that would be detrimental to the country’s higher national interest.

The Oil Corporation stressed that what was happening could lead to the loss of the State’s economic balance and return to square one, with closures and low revenues, and stated that what the Central Bank was doing is undermining the extraordinary efforts of oil workers to restore production to its former levels for purposes that are not in the interest of the national economy.

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