Commander of the 411 Border Battalion affiliated to the Government of National Accord, Khaled Qabar, denied media reports that his battalion seized control of Sharara oil field, saying that they were only conducting regular patrols in the area.
The 411 Battalion has been assigned for nearly six years to protect the field only from outside, as the main task of the battalion is to secure the border and the surrounding area of the oil field, he added.
Qabar noted the security situation in the oil field is normal, and the battalion did not come to arrest anyone, stressing that the military has nothing to do with political disputes.
On 8 December, Libyan tribesmen protested at Sharara oil field and ceased production in an attempt to have their demands fulfilled.
The protesters demanded securing of the road linking al-Jafra and al-Shuwairf towns to Fezzan, preserving Fezzan’s water and oil resources, and providing basic medical needs including equipment for Fezzan’s hospitals, according to the group’s spokesperson Mohammad Maighal.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared the status of force majeure on the Sharara’s production, after declaring a force majeure on its exports of crude oil.
Finally, the Head of the Libyan Presidency Council, Faiez Sarraj, visited the oil field and met with representatives of the protest as well as security and military leaders in the region. After the meeting, the president the announced the resumption of work in the field.
The field in Libya’s remote southwest produces around 300,000 barrels per day. It has suffered shutdowns caused by security problems, including raids, kidnappings and blockages by tribesmen and state-paid guards.