Libya’s NOC shuts down Zueitina oil port

Libya’s NOC shuts down Zueitina oil port

Libya’s National Oil Corp has shut down Zueitina oil port and declared force majeure on exports from the port over a political standoff.

NOC said the closures were caused by “a group of individuals” entering facilities. Groups in eastern Libya protesting at oil plants want the Tripoli-based prime minister to quit in favour of a recently appointed rival.

The closure of facilities would affect electricity output at Zueitina and northern Benghazi power plants and also lead to a shortage of cooking gas supplies in eastern Libya. Libyan oil output has been subjected to repeated closures during the chaotic decade since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and was shut down entirely for months during fighting in 2020.

The political process has broken down again this year after the collapse of a scheduled election in December and the move by the eastern-based parliament to appoint a new government under Fathi Bashagha. Analysts say eastern commander Khalifa Haftar wields extensive control over all of eastern Libya, including major oil-producing areas where production has been shut down.

NOC has called for rival parties to keep conflicts out of the oil sector to save its already dilapidated infrastructure. The country’s production was previously at around 1.2 billion barrels a day. It is not immediately clear how many barrels of production Libya will lose because of the shutdown.

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25th April 2022