By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 20 August 2017:
The National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) woes have returned this week with the renewed blockade of the pipeline from the major Sharara field in the southwest which has forced it to declare force majeure at its Zawia export terminal.
NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla had only been visiting the field last week to address security problems which the oil organisation said had been resolved. It is unclear if the latest interruption is related issues that are separate from those Sanalla thought he had just fixed.
The pipeline from the Sharara and El-Fil fields to the terminal and refinery at Zawia has been used by various local groups to force payments or concessions from National Oil Corporation (NOC).
When the field last reopened in April, its 200,000-b/d capacity set NOC firmly back on its target of producing a million b/d by August, which it in fact hit in June.
A brief strike last week at the Zuetina Export terminal in the east of the country disrupted sales but at the weekend it was reported that Shell Trading had lifted 600,000 barrels of crude from the terminal. This was the first shipment that the firm had bought in five years. Its exploration and production arm pulled out of Libya in May 2012 because of limited discoveries and what it considered an unfavourable Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA).