Haftar’s loyalists shut down Libya’s Zueitina oil terminal

A general view taken on April 9, 2014 shows the entrace to the oil terminal of Zueitina after rebels in eastern Libya ceded control of both Zueitina and Marsa al-Heriga oil ports, in the first handover under a weekend deal to end a crippling nine-month blocakde, the army said. The rebels' seizure of four eastern oil terminals last July in pursuit of their campaign for restored autonomy for the eastern Cyrenaica region slashed exports from 1.5 million barrels per day to just 250,000 bpd. AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA (Photo credit should read ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Loyalists to Khalifa Haftar closed on Friday Zueitina oil terminal and threatened to blockade oil exports at all oil terminals in the country.

Meanwhile, the board of directors of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) strongly condemned calls to blockade oil ports ahead of the Berlin Conference on Sunday.

“The oil and gas sector is the lifeblood of the Libyan economy and the single source of income for the Libyan people. The oil and the oil facilities belong to the Libyan people. They are not cards to be played to solve political matters,” said NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla.

Sanalla added that shutting down oil exports and production will have far-reaching and predictable consequences, saying if the shutdown is prolonged, Libya will face collapse of the exchange rate, a huge and unsustainable increase in the national deficit, the departure of foreign contractors, and the loss of future production which may take years to restore.

He added that blockading oil facilities is a criminal act and if these threats are carried out, NOC will prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent possible under Libyan and international law.

“NOC also calls on the security forces claiming to protect its facilities to prevent any attempts at start a blockade, and warns that their failure to do so will force the corporation to look at other options to protect vital facilities that belong to the Libyan people.” Sanalla further explained.


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