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Libya’s NOC mulls halting operations in Al-Zawiya port, evacuating refinery following Haftar’s airstrikes

The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) has warned that operations in Al-Zawiya port may be halted and the refinery evacuated after renewed attacks around the facilities.

The NOC said in a statement on Sunday that the halt could lead to production also being halted at Sharara oilfield, which exports its crude oil and its derivatives through Al-Zawiya.

On Saturday, December 28, 2019, sites adjacent to the oil storage areas operated by Zawiya refinery were hit by air strikes, the third attack in near proximity to the facilities in the last 48 hours.

“Halting operations at Al-Zawiya will reduce Libyan oil production by at least 300,000 barrels a day and will mean it might not be possible for fuel to be refined at Al-Zawiya refinery. This fuel will need to be imported instead, which will lead to losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars at a time the Libyan economy is suffering.” The Chairman of the NOC Mustafa Sanalla said.

He added that the NOC is making every effort to keep Libyan oil and gas production going despite many challenges, but it cannot operate facilities if there is a risk to the lives of our production teams and local people.

Sanalla warned that if the attacks don’t stop, the NOC will be forced to halt all operations and declare force majeure on exports from Al-Zawiya port, including from the oil fields that pump to Al-Zawiya, such as the Sharara oil field.

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