Libya oil fields back online after three-week shutdown

6. Actually Libya Oil Fields
An undated photo of the Al-Sharara oil field in Libya. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
TRIPOLI — Production has resumed at four key oil fields in war-torn Libya after a three-week shutdown by gunmen linked to Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard, the group said Tuesday.اضافة اعلان

The PFG-affiliated fighters had closed the Sharara, Al-Fil, Al-Wafa, and Al-Hamada fields in December over a pay dispute, slashing output from the North African country by over 300,000 barrels per day, according to the National Oil Corporation.

On Tuesday, a PFG official said the sites in southwestern Libya, along with pipelines delivering oil and gas to export terminals on the country’s northwest Mediterranean coast, “are operational again”.

“The government has listened to our legitimate demands, which were financial and technical in nature,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“We have been working in difficult conditions for years.”

The official’s comments came a day after PFG representatives met in Tripoli with interim prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, who “ordered the immediate reopening of the fields”, according to a statement from his office.

Dbeibah also ordered a committee to look into “the difficulties (the PFG) faces in fulfilling its mission”, the statement said.

Since the 1970s Libya has depended heavily on revenues from its vast crude reserves.

But in the decade since the revolt that overthrew and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi, armed groups have frequently blockaded or damaged oil installations.

The latest shutdown had forced the National Oil Corporation to declare force majeur, a legal move allowing it to free itself from contractual obligations in light of factors beyond its control.

But on Tuesday it announced “a halt in exports from the Al-Sidra terminal because it is unable to replace storage facilities damaged in fighting”.

It said stormy weather had prevented oil tankers from loading at the Al-Sidra terminal, meaning existing storage facilities had quickly reached capacity.

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