The Libya National Oil Corporation (NOC) has declared a force majeure after the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, reportedly blocked key oil export routes at a number of ports, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
A spokesperson for the NOC on Sunday warned that Libya's oil output would experience a drastic slump within few days if LNA forces continue to impede transportation routes for oil facilities. The production of crude could be cut to just 72,000 barrels per day (bpd), the spokesperson forecast, cited by Reuters,
Libya has reportedly been producing some 1.2 million bpd of oil in recent months, and almost all fields located in the area are controlled by the LNA.
According to the company, Haftar ordered oil ports and fields blockaded ahead of an international peace summit on Libya in Berlin.
The NOC has condemned the move and slammed Haftar's maneuvers as "setting fire to your own house”.
"Shutting down oil exports and production will have far-reaching and predictable consequences. If the shutdown is prolonged, we face collapse of the exchange rate, a huge and unsustainable increase in the national deficit, the departure of foreign contractors, and the loss of future production, which may take years to restore. The main beneficiaries of this act will be other oil-producing states, and the harm will be entirely to Libyans. This is like setting fire to your own house”, the NOC said in the statement.
The United Nations earlier expressed its concern for the closure of oil fields in Libya. Russia's acting foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Sunday that the final document agreed at the Berlin conference on Libya contains a clause stating that all Libyan people are entitled to the country's energy resources.