Over 360,000 barrels of Libyan crude oil production each day in Western Libya have been stifled by a criminal militia, which is costing the country $160 million in production, the National Oil Corp. (NOC) reported.
"These gangsters are not only harming the country but their own people,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said. "I call on tribal leaders to cut out this cancer once and for all. By withdrawing tribal protection from these gangsters unless they left the blockade unconditionally.”
In August 2017, the militia, Rayayina Patrols Brigade, illegally closed the trunk crude oil pipeline from the Sharara oil field -- which goes to Zawiya -- at the Rayayina valve. That move cut approximately 283,000 barrels per day. Rayayina Patrols Brigade also allegedly stopped Line 18 that goes from Hamada to Zawiya, which closed off 8,000 barrels per day, as well as breaking into the control room at El-Feel field and shutting down 70,000 barrels per day in that location.
These crimes have the potential to stop essential fuels for local consumption to be produced, which will damage the stability of Libya.
“This is a national tragedy,” Sanalla said. “Our production was recovering, not quite enough to balance the budget, but enough to give us hope that our financial position could stabilize. And to reduce the depletion of the savings of the Central Bank to cover the deficit but Now we are sliding backwards. Everybody in the country will suffer because of this criminal act. Enough is enough."