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Libya’s NOC Chairman says mercenaries, gunmen are being paid to hinder oil operations

The Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanalla said foreign mercenaries and local gunmen are getting paid to prevent NOC from carrying out its essential duties, particularly the maintenance of equipment affected by the forced closure of oil facilities that has lasted 162 days.

NOC Chairman received EU ambassador to Libya, Alan Bugeja, an accompanying delegation on Sunday in Tripoli, discussing the current events affecting the Libyan oil sector, particularly the illegal blockades on oil facilities and fields and their repercussions on the country’s economy, which depends entirely on oil and gas production and exports.

The meeting also discussed the entry of foreign mercenaries into the Sharara oilfield on the evening of Thursday June 25, 2020.

“We strongly condemn the presence of foreign mercenaries at our sites. NOC’s board of directors completely rejects this blatant encroachment on oil facilities by outlaw armed groups- whether foreign mercenaries or Libyan armed groups.”

“Many oil producing countries are benefiting from the ongoing oil blockade and are taking advantage of the absence of the Libyan oil from global markets”. He added.

Sanalla added that the NOC has much to do before the resumption of oil production at previous levels, as the blockade has caused significant damages to surface facilities and resulted in leaks in the pipes transporting crude oil in several oil fields and sites belonging to NOC subsidiaries.

In the meantime, Bugeja reiterated the European Union’s support to the NOC in its ongoing efforts to restart production as soon as possible, for the benefit of the Libyan people.

Sanalla and Bugeja reaffirmed the continued cooperation between the NOC and the EU in order to promote the oil sector in Libya and ensure a rapid recovery of the Libyan economy.

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