Libya's NOC: Al-Wafaa oilfield could be shut down over armed group's extortion

Libya's NOC: Al-Wafaa oilfield could be shut down over armed group's extortion

September 20, 2018 - 18:01
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) has remarked that Al-Wafaa oilfield’s airfield has been blockaded on Wednesday morning an attempt to blackmail Mellitah Oil and Gas Company into awarding an unwarranted catering contract.

The NOC explained on Thursday on its website that if the blockade continues, the company will be forced to suspend all operations in the Al-Wafaa field and evacuate all employees.

“A shutdown in the afternoon of September 20th will result in the cessation of gas supply from Al Wafaa to the Al Ruwais power plant.” The NOC’s statement reads.

The NOC also explained that the blockade is led by Khaled and Abdelhamid Al-Wakwak and members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard in the south-west.

“An operational shutdown will affect citizens in the Western mountain area, and potentially result in power outages.” The NOC warned.

It also condemned the irresponsible act, saying it will only result in harm to the local economy and the livelihood of Libyan citizens.

The blockade comes just days after the report of the United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts on Libya, in which the acts and interests of predatory armed groups are deemed as running 'counter to those of local communities and affect the normal functioning of the oil sector.

Al-Wafaa oilfield is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas Company, producing approximately 40,000 bpd of crude oil, condensate, and 400 million cubic feet of natural gas - dedicated entirely to power plants.