Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) announced Thursday night losses of more than $3.5 billion due to the forced shutdown of major oil production facilities since mid-April and declared a state of “force majeure” in some.
“After the lapse of 72 hours and the loss of 16 billion Libyan dinars (approx. US$3.59 billion) and more, the EEP has decided to declare a state of force majeure” at its facilities in the Gulf of Sirte (north), the public company emphasized in a statement.
On Monday, it warned it would be forced to declare “force majeure” in three days if production and exports did not resume at its terminals in the Gulf of Sirte.
Invoking “force majeure” allows the company to breach its contractual obligations, disclaiming all liability for non-fulfillment.
“We are obliged to declare force majeure at the terminals in Ash Sindra (east) and Ras Lanuf (east), as well as the Al Fil oil field (south),” EEP chief Mustafa Sanala said in the press release. the company’s.
Under the EEP’s administration, production has seen a “big drop” and exports are down by “365,000 and 409,000 barrels per day, which means we’re down 865,000 barrels per day” from average daily production before the crisis hit. Added to these are the losses of 220 million cubic meters of gas per day — natural gas is absolutely necessary to supply the electricity grid.
The large reduction in gas production is among the causes of the – chronic – power outages that Libya is currently experiencing. The holidays last about twelve hours a day.
Plunged into chaos after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, undermined by east-west conflicts, Libya, the country with the largest hydrocarbon deposits in Africa, remains in the grip of an intractable institutional crisis.
Since March, two governments have again been vying for power, one in Tripoli under Abdelhamid Dbayba, who took over in 2021, the other in eastern Libya, under Fathi Batsaga, who is supported by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Many oil wells and terminals have been forced to shut down since mid-April due to occupations and blockades by groups close to the government in eastern Libya, which are demanding that power be handed over to Mr. Batsaga.
The head of the EEP Sanala yesterday warned against “using the oil sector, which ensures the livelihood of Libyans” to exert political pressure.