Against the backdrop of the threat to close the port of Zawia and the Mellitah complex, the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) confirmed Sunday that it is enhancing its security patrols inside and outside the Mellitah Oil Complex, to ensure that work there proceeds with the required efficiency.
The PFG said, as part of the tasks assigned to it to protect oil installations and sites, a patrol belonging to the 8th Battalion of the Western Branch of the PFG was launched Sunday morning, from the branch headquarters in the city of Zawia to the Mellitah Oil Complex.
This is to intensify patrols and support and inspect the protection points inside and outside the oil complex in a way that contributes to the optimal workflow.
Sharara force majeure
It will be recalled that the National Oil Corporation (NOC) had announced a state of force majeure on 7 January at the Sharara oilfield.
The force majeure was declared because of the oilfield’s closure by local protesters.
The closure has resulted in the suspension of crude oil supplies from the field to Zawia terminal. The NOC reported that negotiations are ongoing to resume production as soon as possible.
Shortages of supplies
It will be recalled that protestors in the south of Libya are calling on the Libyan governments to provide them with services, including the supply of cooking gas cylinders and car fuel. Both of these are the object of smuggling and black-market prices making them either unavailable or available at exorbitant prices that are beyond the income of average citizens.
Hafter or Aoun’s hidden hand behind protesters?
On the other hand, sceptical observers suspect that either Khalifa Hafter or Oil Minister Mohamed Aoun could be behind the closure.
Aoun and NOC chairman Bengdara are in a power struggle as to who should control the NOC and Libya’s oil sector.
Hafter is in military control of southern Libya, and it seems was not prepared to prevent the local protesters from closing Sharara.