The Petroleum Facilities Guards of the Libyan National Army (LNA) called on the National Oil Corporation (NOC) to lift the force majeure off el-Sharara oilfield, describing its production as a “main source of livelihood” for Libyans.
In a statement, the authority said a security plan has been implemented at the field since 19 February, and a committee dedicated to the protection of the oilfield has been formed.
The communique was released a few hours after NOC head Mustafa Sanalla insisted in a Sunday statement that the force majeure, imposed on the field since 8 December, continues until its conditions, including safety for workers and the departure of the armed group responsible for the field’s closure, are met.
The LNA launched a military operation in the south last month, announcing it would fight militants and secure oilfields. The LNA controlled el-Sharara field two weeks ago, and el-Feel field, southwestern Sabha, on Thursday. It has repeatedly called on the NOC to resume production at Sharara, Libya’s largest oilfield.
Commander of the LNA Khalifa Haftar previously tried to form a parallel NOC, but his attempt failed due to the lack of international recognition, rendering him unable to seal oil deals.
Both the NOC and the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) are based in Tripoli, and while the latter explicitly opposes the east-based LNA’s activities in the south, especially its control of oilfields, the NOC said in its latest statement it is “neutral” at the level of the operation of oilfields.