Libya says oil exports resumed after monthslong hiatus


CAIRO – Libya resumed oil exports on Wednesday, ending a months-long hiatus.

The resumption comes after the country restarted production at the following oil fields the dismissal of the chairman of the state oil and gas corporation by one of the country’s rival governments.

A Maltese-flagged oil tanker, the Matala, has docked at al-Sidra port to transport one million barrels of crude oil, the new head of the National Oil Corporation said. It said the ship would then arrive in Italy.

Two other tankers, the Marshall Islands-flagged Nissos Sifnos and the Liberia-flagged Crudemed, are scheduled to ship 1.6 million barrels on Wednesday from the ports of Zueitina Ras Lanuf, according to the NOC.

Last week, the NOC lifted the force majeure clause that had been declared in April at several oil and gas facilities after tribal leaders, linked to powerful commander Khalifa Hifter, closed the facilities. this. Force majeure is a legal measure that allows a company to escape its contractual obligations because of extraordinary circumstances.

Production resumed on Tuesday in several sectors including Sharara, the largest districtAfter three months of closure, NOC announced.

Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, prime minister of the Tripoli-based government, last week announced the dismissal of Mustafa Sanalla, the NOC president. He appointed Farhat Bengdara, the former governor of the central bank of Libya, as a director of an important oil company.

The move was rejected by Sanalla, who argued that Dbeibah’s government lacked legitimacy.

NOC’s new president, Bengdara, is known for his close ties to the United Arab Emirates and Hifter, whose forces control the eastern and most southern parts of the country.

His appointment was seen as a move by Dbeibah to gain control of oil revenues and gain Hifter’s backing in competition with Bashagha.

Libya is currently ruled by two rival administrations, the government of Dbeibah in Tripoli and the government of Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister by the eastern parliament in February and is now based in the city of Sirte.

The North African nation has been ravaged by conflict since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that led to a civil war that toppled and then killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The country’s prized light crude has long been a feature of the conflict in Libya, with militias and foreign forces vying for control of Africa’s largest oil reserves.

Tribal leaders, affiliated with Hifter, in April shut down oil facilities, including the country’s largest oil field and major harbors, potentially stripping Dbeibah of money.

The shutdown caused Libya’s daily oil production to drop by two-thirds. The country’s production stood at 1.2 billion bpd at the beginning of this year.

The outage comes amid a spike in oil prices following Russia’s war in Ukraine. It also exacerbated the country’s power shortages and sparked protests, including one that led to a parliamentary storm in Tobruk.

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