Libya’s NOC chief says instability could lead to 95% oil production loss

The Zella field belongs to Zueitina Oil Company, which pumped 19,000 barrels per day on average in the last quarter of 2018 across all its fields. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 May 2019

Libya’s NOC chief says instability could lead to 95% oil production loss

  • Sanalla also said an attack happened near Zella oilfield earlier on Saturday
  • Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack through its Aamaq news agency

JEDDAH: Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) chief said on Saturday continued instability in Libya could make it lose 95% of its oil production.

"Unfortunately if the situation will continue like this I’m afraid that maybe 95% of production will be lost," Mustafa Sanalla told reporters in Jeddah ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday of top OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

Sanalla also said an attack had happened near Zella oilfield earlier on Saturday.

Two guards were killed and four others were kidnapped early on Saturday in a suspected Daesh attack targeting the oilfield, a security source said.

The attackers struck at an entrance gate to the field, which lies near the town of Zella about 760 km (470 miles) southwest of the capital, Tripoli. They killed the two guards before fleeing, the source and local residents asking not to be named told Reuters.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack through its Aamaq news agency later on Saturday.

The Zella field belongs to Zueitina Oil Company, which pumped 19,000 barrels per day on average in the last quarter of 2018 across all its fields.

An engineer told Reuters workers at the field were safe and facilities had not been damaged.

Daesh has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The militant group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015 but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by US air strikes.

In the last two years, the group has targeted three state institutions in Tripoli, home of the Tripoli-based government of national accord led by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj.

Saturday's assault took place as general Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), which is allied to a rival administration in eastern Libya, mounts an offensive to control Tripoli.


Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

Updated 13 November 2019

Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

  • Altan and the others deny the charges against them
  • On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained prominent journalist and author Ahmet Altan late on Tuesday, a week after he was released from prison in his retrial on coup-related charges, Istanbul police said.

Before his release last Monday, the 69-year-old had been in jail since his arrest in 2016, two months after an attempted coup which Ankara says was orchestrated by the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The journalist’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies. They are concerned by the scale of a post-coup crackdown against suspected Gulen supporters under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Altan smiled and waved as he was driven away by counter-terror squad police officers after being taken from his home in Istanbul, video and photos published by Turkish media showed.

He was taken to Istanbul police headquarters after a hospital check-up, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Altan, his brother and other journalists were previously sentenced to life in jail for aiding Gulen’s network. Last week he was convicted again in a retrial, but released from jail given the time served.

Altan and the others deny the charges against them.

On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing, Anadolu reported.

Under last week’s verdict, Altan was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail. Turkey’s high court had overruled the previous life sentences against him in July, sending the file back for re-trial.

Erdogan’s government has jailed more than 77,000 people pending trial since the failed putsch. Widespread arrests are still routine in a crackdown critics say demonstrates growing autocracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers deny any involvement in the coup. Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite the cleric.