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Oil installations, new chapter of conflict in Libya

Warring factions in southern Libya are conflicting over the control and securing of oil facilities, while the National Oil Corporation (NOC) refuses to participate in this conflict.

The NOC’s Chairperson, Mustafa Sanalla, said that El Sharara oil field in southern Libya was not safe and the corporation had to close it because of the presence of armed militia at the site.

The oilfield located deep in Libya’s south has been closed since December when tribesmen seized it to make financial demands, the latest in several such closures over the past few years.

Libyan National Army (LNA) has called on the state oil firm NOC to reopen the 315,000 barrel-a-day El Sharara field but Sanalla rebuffed that.

LNA control the east and have started an offensive in southern Libya. It is allied to a parallel government based in the east opposing the U.N.-backed administration in Tripoli where NOC is based.

LNA already secures oil ports in eastern Libya and last week also claimed control of the El Feel oilfield, which produces around 75,000 bpd.

The LNA started in January a campaign to secure oilfields and fight militants in the south, expanding his territory claim much beyond the east which it controls.

The LNA already secures oil ports in eastern Libya, forcing NOC to work with Haftar, who has been supported by the UAE and Egypt.

Observers confirm that NOC seeks to move away from the political conflict and refuses to become booty to the conflicting parties in Libya, where oil is the main source of the treasury of the state.

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