Libya oil production comes to halt, affects economy -

29 September, Thursday

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Libya oil production comes to halt, affects economy

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The civil war enforced by the warlord Khalifa Haftar in Libya has brought oil production and exports to a grinding halt, creating financial strain on the UN-recognized Libyan government based in capital Tripoli, reports citing Anadolu Agency.

Till 2014, the North African country on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea was ranked among the top 20 oil-producing countries.

Since January Haftar’s forces have shut down oil facilities in the central and eastern parts to damage the economy and put pressure on the legitimate government.

Ironically, the armed group called Petroleum Facilities Guards affiliated with Haftar closed oil facilities in Sidra, Ra's Lanuf, Briga, Zueitine, and Hariga just the day before Jan. 18 International Berlin Conference to find solutions to the Libyan crisis.

The oil production activities of Sharara and El-Fil oil wells in the south of the country had been earlier stopped by these groups in February 2019.

According to the Libyan Petroleum Institute, responsible for the extraction, refining, and export of petroleum, the country has the largest oil reserves in the African continent.

Due to the closure of oil wells and restrictions put by pro-Haftar armed groups, the Libyan economy suffered a loss of $5 billion in January 2020.

From 2016-2019, the country has already lost more than $100 billion, as Ibrahim Cadran, an Haftar ally interrupted the oil excavation in the east of the country.

Cadran has formed a group called Petroleum Facilities Guards to prevent the movement of petroleum products from oil fields.

While international energy institutions say that most of Libya’s oil reserves have remained untapped, the conflict has hit extraction of oil from the existing resources.

The country's largest oil and gas facilities, such as Sidra, Ra’s Lanuf, Brega, and Zueitine, are located in the war-torn east of Libya on the Mediterranean coastline.

The production in the area accounts for 60% of oil exports in the country.

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