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Libya: Crude oil exports to drop in July due to blockade

July 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm

A picture shows silos at the Zueitina oil terminal in Libya on 14 September 2016 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images]

Libya’s crude oil exports will drop in July to lower levels than those in June, while its state oil firm continues negotiations to end the blockade that has been stifling exports since January, Bloomberg reports.

Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) said the country will export two oil cargoes totaling 1.2 million barrels in July – a third less than in June – as renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) continues to block shipments from most of the OPEC member’s ports.

Meanwhile, according to a report published by the Financial Times, the head of Libya’s state oil company, Mustafa Sanallah, blamed foreign powers backing Haftar for hindering talks intended to enable the north Africa state to end a six-month oil blockade and resume crude exports.

Sanallah said: “Some regional countries are complicating the negotiations while enjoying the absence of Libyan oil from the market,” the Financial Times reported.

READ: UK concerned over mercenaries at Libyan oil facilities

On Sunday, Sanallah also told Libya’s Al-Ahrar televised channel that the El Sharara oil field was occupied by the Russian security company Wagner’s mercenaries 25 days ago and its militias should leave the region immediately.

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Haftar’s forces.

The UN recognises the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, as the country’s legitimate authority, as Tripoli battles Haftar’s militias.

The government launched ‘Operation Peace Storm’ against Haftar in March to counter Haftar’s attacks on the capital Tripoli, and recently liberated strategic locations, including Al-Watiya airbase and the city of Tarhuna, Haftar’s final stronghold in the west of the country.

The Libyan oil and Haftar - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Libyan oil and Haftar – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]