Libyan oilfield ‘won’t reopen until occupiers leave’

Mustafa Sanalla, NOC chairman, said efforts to restart the field had been complicated by the launch of an international counter-terrorism mission. (Reuters)
Updated 30 January 2019

Libyan oilfield ‘won’t reopen until occupiers leave’

  • El Sharara with a capacity to produce 340,000 barrels per day, has been under force majeure since December
  • Libya’s oil industry has faced disruption since 2011 when the nation plunged into conflict that led to rival power centers in west and east

LONDON: Libya’s biggest oilfield El Sharara will remain shut until an armed group and protesters occupying the site leave, the head of the National Oil Corp. (NOC) said on Tuesday, more than a month after the field was closed because of a protest.
The oilfield, with a capacity to produce 340,000 barrels per day (bpd), has been under force majeure since December. Libya now produces more than 900,000 bpd, below average production in 2018 of 1.1 million bpd, NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in London.
“The armed group attempting to hold NOC and Libya’s economic recovery to ransom must leave the field before NOC will consider restarting production,” Sanalla told a Chatham House conference.
Libya’s oil industry has faced disruption since 2011 when the nation plunged into conflict that led to rival power centers in west and east. Protesters and armed groups have often targeted oilfields and energy infrastructure.

 

General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is based in east Libya, launched a campaign this month in southwest Libya that it says aimed to combat militant groups and secure oil facilities in the area, including El Sharara.
NOC is based in the capital Tripoli, in the west and home to the internationally recognized government.
Referring to the LNA initiative, Sanalla said the effort to restart the field “has been complicated further by the launch of an international counter-terrorism mission which has expanded into an attempt to seize control of territory, including potentially, national oil infrastructure.”
“It is my concern that a sequence of events has been set in motion with unknowable consequences for Libya, and NOC,” he said.
He said the preferred solution for securing the field involved deploying a Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) force, managed by NOC. Different factions of the PFG have previously been responsible for shutdowns at oil facilities in the country. He said NOC has suggested that “a mixed force might provide a solution within a negotiated security framework” led by the Government of National Accord in Tripoli and with the support of the UN.

FASTFACTS

Libya’s oil industry has faced disruption since 2011 when the nation plunged into conflict that led to rival power centers in west and east. Protesters and armed groups have often targeted oilfields and energy infrastructure.


Google postpones Android 11 unveiling amid US protests

Updated 30 May 2020

Google postpones Android 11 unveiling amid US protests

  • ‘We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate’

Alphabet’s Google on Saturday said it has postponed next week’s planned unveiling of the beta version of its latest Android 11 mobile operating system in light of protests and unrest in the United States.
“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate,” Google said in a message posted on its Android developers website.
The event was originally scheduled to take place virtually on Wednesday, according to the website. In a tweet, it said that it will announce more details on the new version of Android “soon,” without specifying any dates.
Protests have spread across the United States over the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis black man who died after being pinned by the neck under a white police officer’s knee.