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Libya’s State Oil Firm: War Ship Treathens Vital Oil Facilities

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that a warship had been staying at the Ras Lanuf oil terminal for several days, and has demanded that the military activity at vital Libyan oil facilities cease.

Libya’s oil terminals remain out of service, and the country has not exported oil since January.

Currently, oil production in Libya is just 100,000 bpd—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.  

Libya’s conflict continues, preventing oil production and exports from the African OPEC member. Two weeks ago, Haftar's forces rejected the ceasefire announced two days earlier by the UN-backed government of Libya and the east-based rival administration, dismissing the proposal for truce as a "marketing" stunt.

On Tuesday, NOC said that a warship had entered the Ras Lanuf oil terminal on Saturday and, at present, remains in port.

“NOC demands the immediate withdrawal of all military personnel from its facilities to protect the safety of its employees and the integrity of its infrastructure. We cannot tolerate the lives of our employees being put at risk or our facilities being damaged or destroyed by illegal military activity,” a spokesman for the oil firm said in a statement.

Last Friday, NOC said that military personnel fired live rounds and heavy weapons at the Ras Lanuf port, calling for “immediate and unconditional demilitarisation of all oil facilities.”

“There needs to be an immediate withdrawal of all military groups, especially foreign mercenaries, from its facilities,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.

Sanalla warned last month that oil tanks full to the brim at Libya's oil export terminals are posing a risk to local communities and the facilities themselves, while the port closures threaten gas production feeding power stations, leading to blackouts in many parts of the country.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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