NOC urges resraint and maintains force majeure at Sharara
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 February 2019:
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) yesterday called for protection of its staff and national infrastructure at its Sharara oilfield. It has called for restraint and elected to continue its force majeure status at the oilfield.
The NOC said that it is closely monitoring events at the Sharara oil field. It urges all parties to avoid an escalation of hostilities and actions that may endanger staff or infrastructure at Libya’s largest and most important field.
According to NOC chairman, Mustafa Sanalla: “Worker safety remains our primary concern. We urge all parties to avoid conflict and the politicisation of key infrastructure.
Any damage to the field could have serious consequences for the sector, the environment and the national economy”.
Responding to the LNA’s call for a lifting of force majeure on the oilfield, Sanalla said “Obviously, normal operations cannot restart until security is restored.”
The NOC said that its Sharara field manager has communicated with all parties in the vicinity of the site, urging restraint.
It will be recalled that the Sharara oilfield stopped production after it was occupied by “locals” protesting grievances in December.
However, the NOC labelled the protesters as armed groups and said it would not give in to armed extortion. This led to it announcing force majeure on the field.
The Faiez Serraj Tripoli administration failed in its attempts since December to remove the “protesters” from the field.
Subsequently, Khalifa Hafter sent his LNA forces south under the pretext of re-imposing security and fighting terrorism, and on Wednesday the LNA announced the liberation of Sharara.
However, other local forces as well as pro Faiez Serraj Presidency Council and Government of National Accord forces also entered the field of battle – and the Sharara oilfield.
This confusing state of affairs on the ground has inevitably led to the NOC maintaining the status of force majeure on Sharara.