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Warlord Haftar says oil exports, production to remain shut, despite NOC lifting of force majeure

The spokesman for the militias of Khalifa Haftar, Ahmed Al-Mismari, has confirmed keeping the oil blockade ongoing on all exports and production in the country, just one day after the National Oil Corporation has announced the lifting of force majeure on all exports in Libya.

Al-Mismari said in a televised statement that there are conditions set by Haftar for the reopening of oil ports and fields, adding that one of the conditions is opening a bank account in a third country in order to deposit all oil revenues and then distribute them justly to all three regions in Libya.

“Oil ports and fields will continue to be shut down until these conditions are met with answers. Our international partners understand this.” Al-Mismari said.

He indicated that they had responded to the calls of international community to allow one oil vessel to load a contracted shipment so the facility doesn’t get harmed due to over-storage.

On Friday, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it lifted force majeure on all oil exports from Libya.

The NOC said the first vessel to load crude oil from Libya is the Kriti Bastion from Es Sider oil port, noting that the oil production increase in the country “will take a long time due to the significant damage to reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the illegal blockade imposed on January 17.”

NOC placed the oil terminals at Hariga, Brega, Zueitina, Es Sider, and Ras Lanuf under force majeure at the beginning of this year, after pro-Haftar tribal militias shut exports and production down to allow the warlord to have a political bargaining chip against the Government of National Accord.

“We are very glad finally to be able to take this important step to national recovery, and I wish to thank all the parties to recent discussions for helping to bring about this successful outcome,” NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.

“Our infrastructure has suffered lasting damage, and our focus now must be on maintenance and securing a budget for the work to be done. We also must take steps to ensure Libya’s oil production is never again held to ransom,” Sanalla added.

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