Libyan national oil firm says production down 75 pct after oilfield closure
The National Oil Corporation (NOC), the national oil company of Libya, announced on Saturday that its daily oil barrel production had fallen nearly 75 percent following the closure of the country’s biggest oil field by General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, according to a statement posted on the company’s official Facebook page.
The company’s daily production was 320,154 barrels per day (bpd) as of January 23, 2020, down from an average daily production of 1.22 million bpd before the oil field’s blockade on January 19, 2020, the statement said.
Following General Haftar’s blockade, the NOC declared force majeure, which allows Libya to legally suspend delivery of contracts. Libya is home to Africa’s largest proven oil reserves.
The statement noted that the cumulative loss in production equaled 3.91 million barrels, and $256.65 million, over the course of less than a week.
General Haftar shut down the oil field in the lead up to an international conference in Berlin which aimed to bring together Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army, with the rival UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). The GNA is backed by Turkey and has links to extremist militias.
The closure denies a key source of revenue to the GNA under Prime Minister Fayes al-Sarraj. Funds from oil production have previously been used by the GNA to buy weapons.