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Libya says it may suspend oil exports from key terminals

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's state oil company said it may suspend exports from the Gulf of Sirte, which contains many of the OPEC member's main ports, in the next three days amid a worsening political crisis, Bloomberg reports.

According to the report, the National Oil Corp said it could declare force majeure, a clause in contracts allowing shipments to be halted within 72 hours, according to a statement on Monday.

The Gulf of Sirte includes the exports terminals of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Brega and Zueitina.

Libya's production has slumped since mid-April from 1.2 million barrels a day, further tightening the global oil market. Prices have surged 45 per cent this year to around $110 a barrel.

The move comes as Libya grapples with protests that are forcing many oil fields and ports to shut down.

No individual or minister should be allowed to use the oil sector as a bargaining chip in any negotiations or agreements, NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla said.

READ: Libya leaders urged to establish legal basis for elections

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