Libya’s NOC to assess security at El Sharara oilfield before resuming production

The eastern forces launched an offensive in mid-January to secure the southern oilfields, which include El Sharara. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 February 2019
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Libya’s NOC to assess security at El Sharara oilfield before resuming production

  • The field, which had been producing about 315,000 barrels per day (bpd), was closed after a group of state guards and tribesmen seized it
  • Libyan forces loyal to a commander based in the east of the politically divided nation took control of the field last week

BENGHAZI, Libya: Libyan state oil firm NOC will reopen the El Sharara oilfield, the country’s biggest, only after an inspection to establish security, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The comments came shortly after officials for eastern Libyan forces said they handed over control of the field to an oil security force to encourage NOC to restart production that has been halted since December.
Control over the oilfield has been claimed by different forces since tribesmen and state guards seized it in December, making financial and other demands. NOC declared force majeure, a waiver on its contracts.
“NOC has sent an inspection team to assess security at Sharara and to verify that all armed militia have left the field prior to force majeure being lifted,” the spokesman said by text message.
A no-fly zone imposed by the eastern military meant this could take some days, he said, adding that the zone indicated a “serious continuing threat level.”
The eastern military has said it will not allow flights to southern Libya without its permission.
“We call on NOC to lift force majeure,” said Naji Al-Maghrabi, the eastern-based commander of the state oil guards appointed to protect the field, in a statement posted online.
A spokesman for the eastern military confirmed the handing over of the field to the oil force.
It was not immediately clear if handing over security to guards under the control of an eastern-based commander would meet NOC’s demands.
The eastern forces launched an offensive in mid-January to secure the southern oilfields, which include El Sharara. 


Yemeni economy loses $50 billion in war against Houthis

Updated 14 min 51 sec ago
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Yemeni economy loses $50 billion in war against Houthis

  • Economic activity decreased in the past five years
  • The militants were killed in Al-Bayda province

DUBAI: Yemen’s economy lost nearly $50bn during the four-year war against the Iranian-backed Houthis, national news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

The losses do not take into account the costs of direct and indirect damages from the destruction of infrastructure, Yemen’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Najib Al-Awaj said.

The volume of economic activity declined in the last five years and growth was negative in all sectors, Al-Awaj added.

Meanwhile, eight Houthi militants died in clashes with national resistance forces in Al-Bayda province.

The resistance forces stopped the militants from infiltrating an area on Al-Sawma directorate, a source added.