Libya to restart exports after ‘full control’ of oil crescent

A member of the Libyan National Army carries his weapon during clashes to recover oil ports in Ras Lanuf. (Reuters)

Military strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces announced Monday their “full control” of Libya’s oil crescent after driving out a rival militia, as authorities said normal exports were set to resume.

“Mopping up operations for enemy holdouts” have been completed, said Khalifa al-Abidi, spokesman for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.

Military commander General Ahmed Salem, in a video posted by the LNA, said the fields and oil installations in eastern Libya were back under the force’s “full control”.

The LNA already announced last Thursday that it had recaptured two key oil ports, a week after they were seized by armed groups led by militia leader Ibrahim Jadhran, although military operations in the area were unfinished.

On Sunday, a delegation from the National Oil Corporation, which said the violence had slashed oil production by almost half and cost billions of dollars in losses, inspected the Ras Lanuf oil terminal.

“Specialists are currently determining when operations may resume and will update the Libyan people and market in due course,” the NOC said in a statement.

“Despite the severity of the fire damage to storage tanks 2 and 12, tanks 5 and 6 were saved thanks to the exemplary work of personnel on site.”

Medics have said 16 LNA members were killed in clashes, but the number of dead on the other side was unknown.

Libya has been wracked by conflict since the 2011 ouster and killing of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising, with rival governments and militias competing for authority and control of key infrastructure.

The country’s economy relies heavily on oil.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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