Libya’s NOC calls for avoiding escalation at Sharara oilfield

Deep in Libya's southern Sahara, men in army uniforms guard a pipeline at the El Sharara oilfield. (File/Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2019
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Libya’s NOC calls for avoiding escalation at Sharara oilfield

  • Oil production in Libya has been disrupted since conflict broke out in 2011
  • Libya is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

BENGHAZI, Libya/LONDON: Libya’s National Oil Corp. on Friday urged all parties to avoid escalation at the El Sharara oilfield, the country’s largest, and said it would not restore normal operations until security had been restored.
“Worker safety remains our primary concern,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.
“We urge all parties to avoid conflict and the politicization of key infrastructure.”
The eastern-based Libyan National Army said on Wednesday it had seized the 315,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) field from tribesmen and protesters who forced operations to halt when they took the site on Dec. 8.
But an engineer at the field told Reuters that eastern forces were controlling only a pumping substation and that the main production area was still held by armed tribesmen.
The field manager had communicated with all parties in the vicinity of the site and urged restraint, the statement added.
Oil production in Libya, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has been disrupted since conflict broke out in 2011, with protesters and armed groups often targeting oilfields and energy infrastructure.
National production now stands at under 1 million bpd, well below pre-2011 capacity of 1.6 million bpd.


Sudan government arrests opposition leaders ahead of protest

Updated 21 February 2019
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Sudan government arrests opposition leaders ahead of protest

  • The Sudanese Congress Party says government arrested leaders of Umma and Communist parties, among others
  • The demonstrators want the President Al-Bashir to resign

CAIRO: A Sudanese opposition party says more than 10 opposition leaders have been arrested ahead of the latest day of protests urging President Omar al-Bashir to resign.
In a statement, the Sudanese Congress Party says security forces "pre-empted" demonstrations by arresting the deputy head of the Umma Party, Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi; the party's Secretary-General Sara Naqdallah; Communist Party leader Mokhtar al-Khatib, and others.
Later, police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds who had gathered to march, near the Arab Market area in Khartoum.
Sudan has been rocked by a wave of protests since December calling on al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 military coup, to step down. Activists say at least 57 people have been killed, but the government tally stands at 30.