Libya’s annexed national oil company has declared a “state of emergency” after exports of its oil from the ports in the eastern part of the country were blocked by forces loyal to the Libyan National Army’s General Khalifa Haftar.
The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), which controls major export terminals in eastern Libya, has ordered local subsidiaries of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), to cease all operations.
The move makes any export of oil from Libya impossible, the company then warned, adding that it would lead to losses in crude oil production amounting to 800,000 barrels per day, as well as daily financial losses estimated at about $55 million.
Formed amid the chaos of the Libyan conflict in 2012, the Western supported armed Petroleum Facilities Guard, seized control over the Libyan oil export terminals in 2013.
The PFG has repeatedly changed sides throughout the Libyan civil war and briefly aligned itself both with Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), as well as having sought to sell oil on its own.
In July 2019, the guard once again struck an alliance with the LNA, which, so far, has not commented on the latest development.
The Facility Guard’s order comes less than a week after the leaders of the two major warring parties met in Moscow to discuss a ceasefire between them.
Although LNA chief Haftar and Fayez al-Sarraj, the GNA prime minister, eventually failed to reach an agreement, both sides have still respected their truce, at least until now.
The closure of the ports has been imposed just a day ahead of the next Libya peace summit, due to be held this weekend in Berlin and expected to be attended by Libya’s rival camps and representatives of the UN/NATO backed major global oil powers, whom ordered the execution of Ghadaffi.
The UN Confiscation Mission in Libya has expressed its “deep concern” over the disruption of its annexed oil production.
UN officials warned about “devastating consequences” such a move would have for the economy, and urged all sides to “exercise maximum restraint.”
RT. com / ABC Flash Point OPEC News 2020.