UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on Thursday the resumption of production at an oil field in the southwest of the country after the cessation of military activities in the field.
“We confirm the resumption of production in the elephant field after the cessation of hostilities in the field,” the foundation said in a statement published on its official Facebook page.
No field personnel were injured, although some facilities suffered minor damage, the statement said.
“I remind all parties that oil and gas fields are the main source of income in Libya, and preserving them is in the interest of the people, so they should not be treated as military targets,” said Mustafa Sanaullah, head of the oil company.
“Any fighting near any of our facilities forces us to stop production, to ensure the safety of our employees,” he said, noting that production cuts meant “all Libyans are harmed.”
Violent clashes on Wednesday between armed groups and forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter inside the elephant oil field caused a halt to its production.
Major General Ahmed al-Mesmari, spokesman for Hifter’s forces, accused forces belonging to the Wefaq government of involvement in the attack, while the latter did not make any comment on the charges.
Hifter’s forces regained control of the field after hours of intense air strikes that led to the withdrawal of the attacking forces.
The elephant field is located in the oil-rich Murzuq basin, 750 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, and has reserves of more than 1.2 billion barrels, according to the National Oil Corporation.
The 70,000-bpd field is operated in partnership with the Italian oil company Eni. The crude field is pumped to the port of Mellita in western Libya.
The current average oil production in Libya is 1.25 million barrels per day.
Although fighting has continued south of Tripoli since April between forces loyal to Field Marshal Haftar and those of the Wefaq government, oil production in Libya has not been affected by the fighting, which has left some 1093 dead and 5,752 wounded, including civilians. Nearly 128,000 people were displaced, according to the latest UN agency census in July.
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