Libya’s Sharara oilfield loses 8,500 bpd to vandals

Libya declares force majeure at biggest oilfield
PHOTO CREDIT: Washington Post

Libya’s state run oil company, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) on Thursday said its 315,000 bpd Sharara oilfield is expected to lose 8,500 barrels to looting.

NOC said three security breaches and looting have taken place in its biggest oilfield over two weeks.

The oil company declared force majeure on Dec. 17 at Sharara after it was taken over on Dec. 8 by tribesmen, armed protesters and state guards demanding salary payments and development funds.

NOC Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla warned on Thursday that attacks on the field could destroy the Sharara system and damage the economy.

Sanalla reiterated the call for the implementation of emergency security measures to allow Sharara to be reopened. The internationally recognised government and NOC agreed on a security plan last week to protect the Sharara field.

He said, “The legitimate and rightful concerns of the Southern Libyan communities are being hijacked and abused by armed gangs, who instead of protecting the field to generate wealth for all Libyans, are actually enabling its exploitation and looting.”

OPEC member Libya had previously boosted output to up to 1.3 million bpd.

NOC runs the field with Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Norway’s Equinor, formerly known as Statoil.