Libya’s state oil company said it planned to restart oil shipments from terminals in the centre of the country after they were attacked and seized by forces opposed to Tripoli’s unity government.
Over the weekend, Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army claimed control over oil-exporting facilities held by troops loyal to the government that had recently resumed operations in an effort to revive the nation’s economy.
The move had led to fresh fears of disruptions in Libya’s oil industry, which had already faced previous attacks by rival militias as well as the extremist Islamic State.
But in a statement posted late Tuesday on its website, the Tripoli-based National Oil Co. said “it would begin work immediately to restart exports from Oil Crescent ports.”
Its chairman, Mustafa Sanallah, said he had received pledges from the new ports’ new occupiers that they would be placed under NOC’s control.
Earlier Tuesday, a commander now controlling one of the ports, Col. Muftah al-Muqarief, told The Wall Street Journal he could place the terminals under Tripoli’s control if Gen. Haftar gave such orders.
The terminals – called es-Sidra, Zueitina, Ras Lanuf and Brega- normally account for more than half of Libya’s exports.
Sanallah said the country could now raise production to 600,000 barrels a day within four weeks from around 290,000 barrels a day currently, if the necessary funds were available from the central government.
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