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NOC Chief: Libya lost millions of dollars due to oilfields shutdown

The Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanallah, has disclosed that shutting down Sharara and Al-Wafaa oilfields was coordinated and planned by state official figures aiming to attain political and financial gains, adding that the militias that are seen by the public as the ones closing the fields are no more than a means to an end.

“The shutdown of those fields was aimed to blackmail the government by using a systematic plan with a shutdown of the pipelines so that Libya’s oil production doesn’t reach the aspired output rates placed by the NOC.” Sanallah said in a statement.

Sharara oilfield was producing 210.000 bpd before Rayayna pipeline had been closed on April 09, leading to 84 million dollars of loss to the Libyan economy, ending any aspirations for the plan to raise the output to 280.000 bpd, which was supposed to be next week, and putting it off till a further notice.

“After shutting down the pipeline of Jawbiya in Nalut by Sixth Force led by Ibrahim Al-Gatous since March 26, Al-Wafaa oilfield’s losses registered 176 million dollars.” Sanallah added.

“The oilfield’s pipeline was reopened on April 12 after public anger and demands for solutions as the power outage and load shedding were continuing to increase as a result of the closure.” He remarked.

He also indicated that after less than two days, another pipeline was closed by a group which thought that shutting another pipeline will help their aim but keep Al-Ruwais power plant working, adding that their thought was wrong and they had to reopen the pipeline on April 15.

“Regarding Al-Feel oilfield, Fazzan Petroleum Facilities Guard shut it down on December 20, 2016, causing 500 million dollars in loss to the Libyan economy.” He explained.

He also called for the immediate unconditional reopening of Al-Feel oilfield and Sharara oilfield’s pipeline.

Sanallah reiterated the fact that any militia that is awarded for closing a pipeline or an oilfield by a certain official from the government shows the official as an accomplice in the crime with them, adding that the NOC considers such actions are crimes against Libya’s economy.

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