Libya May Suspend Oil Exports From Key Terminals

Libya Says it May Suspend Oil Exports From Key Terminals (News Central TV)

Amid a deepening political crisis, Libya‘s state oil corporation warned that shipments from the Gulf of Sirte, which is home to many of the country’s major ports, may be halted within the next three days.

In a statement on Monday, the National Oil Corp warned it could invoke force majeure, a provision in contracts that allows supplies to be stopped within 72 hours.

The export terminals of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Brega, and Zueitina are located in the Gulf of Sirte.

Since mid-April, Libya’s production has dropped from 1.2 million barrels per day, substantially compressing the world oil market. This year, prices have increased by 45%, reaching about $110 per barrel.

The action is being taken as protests in Libya force numerous oil fields and ports to close.

No individual or minister should be allowed to use the oil sector as a bargaining chip in any negotiations or agreements, NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.

NOC Chairman Mustapha Sanalla

Since the overthrow of tyrant Moammar Al Qaddafi in 2011, the country has been engulfed in conflict. Two politicians, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha, are now engaged in a stalemate over who is the rightful prime minister.

Additionally, Sanalla and the oil ministry, led by Mohamed Oun, are engaged in a power struggle. Since Oun’s appointment last year, their communication has gotten worse, and the minister has repeatedly tried to fire Sanalla.

Oun has recently expressed dissatisfaction about the NOC’s failure to provide the ministry with production data. Dbeibah, a Tripoli-based individual, informed Oun last week that he would alter the NOC’s board of directors.

But it’s unclear if he has the authority to do so or whether Sanalla would stay in his post in a reorganisation.

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