By Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 8 July 2015:
Despite an announcement by the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli that force majeure at Ras . . .[restrict]Lanuf has been lifted, the central region Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) are saying that they will impound any vessel that arrives there to load oil or any other product.
The NOC made its announcement a week ago, although it was only made public two days ago. Two tankers, the Trident Hope and the Minerva Alexandra, are now heading towards Ras Lanouf and are expected to dock tomorrow, according to marinetraffic.com.
However, as with so many other national organisation, the NOC is now split between Tripoli and Beida administrations and the central region PFG, which does not recognise the authority of the NOC’s office in Tripoli, has not accepted its suspension of force majeure.
A Central PFG official in Ajdabiya told the Libya Herald this evening that Ras Lanouf was still closed and no vessel would be allowed there.
Force Majeure was declared last December when Misratan forces, then part of Libya Dawn, launched an offensive against the Sidra and Ras Lanouf terminals, hoping to seize them. It failed and the Misratans have since been forced out of the area west of the terminals by the Islamic State. However, two months ago, there were announcements that vessels delivering goods were being allowed to dock.