The UN-backed government of Libya announced a ceasefire on Friday, and the east-based rival administration also called for a truce in a move that could pave the way to reopening of Libya's oil terminals, if the ceasefire holds.
Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj of the Libyan UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has "issued instructions to all military forces to immediately cease fire and all combat operations in all Libyan territories," the GNA said, as carried by France 24.
Currently, oil production in Libya is around 100,000 barrels per day (bpd). This figure is dramatically down from 1.2 million bpd at the start of the year, just before paramilitary formations affiliated with the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar occupied Libya's oil export terminals and oilfields.
Haftar's forces, backed by the UAE, Egypt, and Russian mercenaries, have been fighting the GNA-backed forces supported by Turkey in recent months. GNA forces have pushed Haftar's forces back to Sirte, a strategic city that the UN-backed government proposed today to be a demilitarized zone.
Early in June, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) resumed production at the 300,000-bpd Sharara oilfield after negotiating the opening of an oilfield valve that had been closed since January. Just a day later, however, Sharara shuttered again, after an armed force had told the workers in the field to stop working.
Earlier this week, Haftar's Libyan National Army said it would reopen Libya's oil ports for a short while to empty tanks with crude oil and condensate and ship them abroad.
Libya will export some of the fuel, while the remaining fuel will be shipped into eastern Libya to feed its power plants, a spokesman for an LNA affiliate said in a televised statement.
"The instructions were to allow for the emptying of tanks holding crude and condensate stored at the oil ports to be loaded and exported," LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said, as quoted by Bloomberg. "The decision taken yesterday doesn't mean the reopening of fields or the resumption of exports."
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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