By Sami Zaptia.
London, 19 September 2020:
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) yesterday refused to resume oil production and exports saying that the lifting of force majeure is linked to a conditional link to transparency coupled with new security arrangements by the NOC.
The announcement came in response to the declaration by Khalifa Hafter yesterday that he had lifted his blockade on Libya’s oil production and exports. It also follows on from the revelation yesterday by Deputy Presidency Council head, Ahmed Maetig, that he had reached an agreement with Hafter on oil production/export resumption.
The NOC said it regrets the fact that the oil sector has been politicized and used as a “bargaining chip” in futile negotiations by an incompetent authority for political gain without regard to the basics of professional work.
“We cannot accept or turn a blind eye to these practices and cannot make these practices a means of politicizing the livelihood of Libyans, because the only viable way forward is a sovereign Libyan solution, and we will not allow Wagner mercenaries to play a role in the national oil sector.” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla.
He added that with the chaos and negotiations that are taking place in an irregular way, we cannot lift the force majeure with it. We have more than 50 tanks filled with hundreds of tons of highly flammable and explosive hydrocarbons, and we have foreign mercenaries inside these facilities, and force majeure cannot be lifted in the presence of these foreign mercenaries.
Sanalla stressed that the negotiations being conducted by the NOC in coordination with the President of the Presidential Council (Faiez Serraj) and the international community include a transparent initiative and clearly defined plan that cannot in any way be overridden or jumped over It includes the following:
First, the safe operation of oil fields and ports and protection of users and residents in production and export areas.
Secondly, in conjunction with the first point, all armed groups in all guises must leave all oil fields and ports, making them demilitarized zones, otherwise any other agreement would be fanciful.
The NOC assured the general Libyan public that it will not allow any non-competent entity, whoever it may be, to impose its agendas.
The NOC aims through these arrangements to ensure the maintenance of infrastructure, continued exports and to achieve regular and transparent oil revenues that are frozen for the benefit of the Libyan people.
This initiative was to ensure the equitable use and protection of oil wealth and revenues and to prevent their control by certain groups and entities unjustly for their own interests, which are contrary to the interests of the Libyan people in their right to enjoy their wealth.
The NOC condemned the attempts of some to hold talks described as secret and contrary to the principles announced in the initiative, we pledge to be a deaf rock in the face of these absurd efforts, which can only be described as a leap in the air aimed only at narrow political gains and we will not allow the use of oil again as a ‘‘bargaining chip’’ in any secret or public talks without clear conditions and in the interest of preserving oil installations.
“Throughout my career, I have always maintained candour and clarity and what all of these are doing, will not discourage our determination in the oil sector to move forward in building the state of law, the state of institutions, and to restore production and exports, raising it from the rubble, to restore its vital role generation after generation in spite of efforts to the contrary by some,” Sanalla said.