Libyan Oil Sabotage: The Next Phase
Nearly one-third of Libya’s oil output was taken offline for three days this week after a pipeline was sabotaged from the giant Al-Sharara field, which produces 315,000 bpd. On Monday, production resumed, but not before Libya lost 290,000 bpd for 48 hours. That’s about $19 million a day in losses, confirmed by our sources at the Tripoli-based National Oil Company (NOC). The NOC is not keen to discuss publicly what the cause of the shutdown was, or who was behind the sabotage. Instead, they refer to it publicly only as a “criminal act”. The unwillingness to discuss the nature of the sabotage suggests that it may have been perpetrated by Islamic radical forces. What this means is this: It’s always been General Haftar (presently trying to seize Tripoli from the GNA) who fought off ISIS-related forces from the country’s oil facilities. The GNA isn’t keen to highlight this at a time when they are bringing on external parties to help fight back Haftar’s offensive on the capital city. The Sharara oilfield is only functioning effectively because of Haftar, who has rescued it from armed groups several times already.
In the last week of June, the NOC released its oil revenue reports, showing $1.7 billion for June. That’s up from $580 million in May, which was plagued by electricity cuts to oil facilities that had caused a loss of production of approximately 70,000 bpd.