NOC reinstates force majeure on Zawia port oil loadings after Sharara pipeline closure
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 1 August 2019:
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced yesterday the reinstatement of force majeure on crude oil loadings at Zawia port commencing Tuesday 30 July.
It said that the decision was prompted by a new illegal Sharara pipeline valve closure halting crude oil supply from Sharara oilfield to the coastal port.
Sharara is Libya’s biggest production oilfield.
This is the second illegal valve closure and breach of pipeline security by unidentified perpetrators in the last ten days, it explained.
The NOC said that it had notified the commercial partners of this oilfield.
It also reported that staff from its subsidiary, Akakus Oil Operations, had attempted to reopen the valve but were prevented from doing so by a local armed group.
It said negotiations were ongoing in an effort to restart production as soon as possible.
The NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying: “This latest incident only serves to highlight the fragility of our security environment and total disregard for the impact of such acts on the lives of everyday Libyans.
The loss of production at Libya’s largest oilfield severely disrupts power supply to the grid and continued funding of basic services.
This is most acutely felt by communities in the South. The perpetrators of this incident must be brought to justice and the rule of law upheld.
Adequate operational budget must be secured to strengthen industrial security procedures to prevent further such incidents.”
The NOC also reported that Akakus has informed the General Electric Company of Libya (GECOL) of the subsequent disruption to the Ubari power plant crude oil supply, and that alternative arrangements are being prepared to ensure continued operations at the power station.