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Libya oil exports to resume within days, says minister

A general view shows an oil refinery in Libya's northern town of Ras Lanuf on January 11, 2017 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP via Getty Images]
A general view shows an oil refinery in Libya's northern town of Ras Lanuf on January 11, 2017 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP via Getty Images]

Libya is expected to resume oil exports "soon", the Oil Minister, Mohamed Aoun, announced yesterday.

"We hope that oil exports resume, and we expect that within the next few days," Aoun told Anadolu Agency. His remarks came as local oil facilities had been shut for over a week after tribal groups called for the departure of the Un-backed government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

Aoun added the decision had come "after contacting facilities owners to discuss their requests," noting that a joint agreement on reopening the closed facilities would be reached "soon."

"Closure of the oil facilities costs the state great losses,"he warned, noting that the losses had not been "counted yet."

The Libyan minister pointed out that a "committee is working on preparing a comprehensive report on the losses incurred from the closures."The main valves that pump oil are closed, and there is no possibility to export in the meantime," he said.

READ: Libya oil company declares force majeure in Sharara oil field

On 20 April, Aoun said that his country was incurring a total of $60 million in losses per day due to the closure of the country's oil facilities.

Since last week, Libya has been witnessing closures of oil fields and ports by tribal groups in the south, centre, southwest and east, who have called on Dbeibeh to hand power to Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed by the eastern based parliament.

On Tuesday, Dbeibeh renewed his refusal to hand over power except to a "government mandated by a new parliament that will come through the upcoming elections, during the fifth meeting of the government for 2022." He stressed that the Government of National Unity would continue to "perform its duties until the handover to an elected legitimate government."

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