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Libya’s oil company to export first shipment after 7-month blockade

August 25, 2020 at 1:10 pm

Mustafa Sanalla,(C) Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya, in the capital Tripoli on 16 July 2018 [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images]

Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it was preparing to load its first shipment of condensates from its Brega oil port after oil exports had been halted for 219 days, Libya Herald reported.

According to the news site, the oil tanker Valle Di Siviglia arrived at dawn at the eastern Libyan port of Brega, at its request.

The NOC said the tanker will ship 30,000 tonnes of condensate stored in the port to free up adequate storage capacity to enable the continuation of natural gas production at its current levels of around 160 million cubic feet per day.

Meanwhile, it added that the Libyan National Army (LNA), loyal to renegade General Khalifa Hafter, had blockaded the oil fields that supply the Zawiya refinery and refused to re-pump crude oil to it leaving it struggling to provide fuel for local consumption or access state funds to import fuel.

NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla, said the blockade had caused great suffering to Libyan citizens, negatively impacting all aspects of life.

“Electricity blackouts in the eastern region due to lack of gas is one of those effects. NOC is continuing to make every effort to alleviate the suffering of Libyans in all parts of the country. We reiterate our calls to end the illegal blockade of our facilities so that we can do our job and meet local fuel consumption needs,” he also said.

Libya is split between rival factions and governments based in the west and east.

The NOC, which is based in Tripoli in the west, has been appealing for eastern based authorities to end an oil blockade that began in January amid a wider conflict and has drastically cut production.

Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, but nine years of conflict and violence in the country since the 2011 ouster of ruler Muammar Gaddafi have halted production and exports. Libya’s internationally recognised government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

The government launched ‘Operation Peace Storm’ in March to counter attacks on the capital and recently regained strategic locations, including the Al-Watiya airbase and Tarhuna, which is viewed as a significant blow to Haftar’s forces.

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