By Sami Zaptia.
London, 21 July 2019:
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared a state of force majeure on crude oil loadings at Zawia port commencing Saturday, July 20, 2019.
The NOC said that the force majeure announcement came as the result of “an unlawful Sharara pipeline valve closure by an unidentified group between Hamada and the Zawiya port the previous evening (11:38pm) – thereby resulting in production being suspended”.
Around 290,000 barrels per day (bpd) has been forced offline (valued at 19 million USD per day) preventing the NOC from carrying out crude oil loadings at the terminal, the NOC said.
Any local market fuel deficit as a result of the refinery feed stock shortfall will be offset by international fuel imports, thereby causing additional deficit in the fuel budget, it added.
It stressed that production at the El Feel oil field near Sharara is unaffected.
The NOC said it has notified commercial partners of this development and its subsidiary, Akakus Oil Operations, has informed the General Electric Company of Libya (GECOL) that crude oil supply to the Ubari power station will cease following this production interruption.
It explained that supply from Sharara to the Ubari power plant requires the transfer of a continuous amount of crude to production plant (A)’s storage tank – which is currently full.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said: “Criminal activity has required NOC to declare Force Majeure at Zawia. Deliberate attempts to sabotage pipelines and production hurt both national oil revenues and critical power supply for everyday Libyans.
Akakus security personnel and engineers are investigating the incident and working to quickly restore production. The corporation, in partnership with relevant authorities, will find and prosecute those responsible for this unnecessary interruption.”, Sanalla concluded.