Armed militia blockade halts crude production of 360,000bpd in Libya


Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) has revealed that crude production to the tune of more than 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) has been stalled in the country following blockades caused by armed militia.

The fall in production has resulted in losses of around $160m.

The militia, named Rayayina Patrols Brigade, illegally shut the trunk crude oil pipeline (Line 30) linking the Sharara oil field to Zawiya at the Rayayina valve, which resulted in production loss by an estimated 283,000bpd.

In addition, Line 18 connecting Hamada to Zawiya, as well as the El-Feel field were both shut down, affecting production of 8,000bpd and 70,000bpd, respectively.

Terming the incident as a national tragedy, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said: "Our production was recovering, not quite enough to balance the budget, but enough to give us hope that our financial position could stabilise.

"Our production was recovering, not quite enough to balance the budget, but enough to give us hope that our financial position could stabilise."

“And to reduce the depletion of the savings of the Central Bank to cover the deficit but now we are sliding backwards.

"Everybody in the country will suffer because of this criminal act.”

According to NOC, force majeure has been declared at all three fields.

The national oil agency further noted that the Sharara blockade resulted in damaged pipeline valves, posing a heightened risk of an explosion in the crude oil pipelines.

Production of essential fuels meant for local consumption from the Zawiya refinery that receives crude oil from Sharara will be halted unless an alternative supply arrangement is made by sea.