From Abu Dhabi, Libyan officials announce lifting force majeure on Sharara oilfield

From Abu Dhabi, Libyan officials announce lifting force majeure on Sharara oilfield

February 26, 2019 - 20:20
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

In a meeting on Tuesday morning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sirrja and the Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah agreed to lift force majeure on the biggest oilfield in Libya - Sharara.

NOC said in a statement following the agreement that "all parties expressed a desire to swiftly resolve the crisis (at Sharara oilfield) and restart production as soon as possible."

"The NOC chairman reiterated his desire to resume production, and that force majeure will be lifted when all members of the ‘Civilian’ armed militia are removed from the field." The state oil firm explained.

Sanallah stressed NOC’s zero-tolerance policy towards extortion and insisted that all measures to resolve the crisis take place within the framework of national and international law.

"Despite all concerned parties not being present at the meeting, NOC is seeking assurances from the General Command of the Libyan National Army that all outstanding arrest warrants will be served - and that wanted parties will be removed from the field." NOC added, referring to Khalifa Haftar's forces as "National Army."

Sanallah was also quoted by the NOC as saying that previously announced security guarantees and arrangements at the site must be implemented to prevent further acts of aggression and violence against Libya’s oil sector workers.

"Under no circumstances will be future threats to staff be tolerated," he added.

Libyan Decisions Made in UAE

The meetings that took place in the UAE have been bitterly and even sarcastically criticized by Libyan ordinary people and politicians alike.

The member of the House of Representatives (HoR) Abdelsalam Nasiyah said there are only five kilometers between the building of Al-Sirraj's government and the NOC in Tripoli, yet they were unable to resolve their disputes and took far away to the UAE.

"Sanallah and Al-Sirraj's meeting was held in the UAE only to lift force majeure on Sharara oilfield." Nasiyah tweeted.

Other politicians found it skeptical that Al-Sirraj would be able to permit the reopening of Sharara oilfield as he has no control neither on the field nor on the southern region, where Haftar has been wagin a war since January.