By Jamal Adel.
Kufra, 21 September 2018:
The Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG), the state-aligned security body entrusted with guarding Libya’s oil facilities, abandoned its closure of the Wafa oilfield’s airport yesterday.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) had announced yesterday that the Wafa oilfield airfield was closed yesterday morning by the PFG “In an attempt to blackmail Mellitah oil and Gas Company into awarding an unwarranted catering contract”.
The NOC said that it fears that if the blockade continued it will result in suspension of all operations in the oilfield and therefore lead to the evacuation of all the staff. It would also subsequently results in cessation of gas supplies to Ruwais power station in Jebel Nafousa.
The NOC referred to at least two perpetrators of this closure who are also PFG members “The action is led by Khalid and Abdelhamid Al Wakwak and members of the Petrolium Facilities Guard in the south-west”.
The NOC demanded an “immediate end to the blockade and the reopening of the runway without preconditions. The NOC said that it did not negotiate under duress, and will only operate in the national interest”.
However, it seems the tough stance and public naming by the NOC of the leaders of the action ended the closure late yesterday.
The NOC said that production at Wafa was uninterrupted.
The NOC said that it operates in the national interest and asks that the PFG, and all Libyan institutions, do the same to protect the wealth and livelihood of the Libyan people.
It said that is was thankful that those blockading the site stood-down following the corporation’s public warning regarding this activity. It stressed that it does not and will not negotiate under duress – and will continue to prosecute criminal behaviour where applicable.
Wafa is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas Company, a joint venture beteen the NOC the Italian energy and gas giant ENI.
Wafa is located in the Ghadamis basin and produces 40,000 bpd of crude oil and 400 million cubic feet of natural gas dedicated mostly to the Ruwais power plant.