As the Government of National Accord makes gains in its military struggle with the Libyan National Army, the Sharara oilfield has restarted production.
The National Oil Corp. (NOC) has put first phase production from the field at 30,000 barrels per day. Full production should be reached within 90 days, the company said.
The Hamada valve was closed in mid-January as the LNA stepped up pressure on the Tripoli-based GNA. The closure of the field, and wider blockade of the North African state’s oil industry, was blamed on the decisions of local tribes but has been widely attributed to the LNA.
NOC had complained recently of being frustrated in its attempts to tackle maintenance problems at Sharara.
“We have much to do, and we hope that the restart of production at the Sharara oilfield will be a first step to reviving the Libyan oil and gas sector and preventing an economic collapse in Libya in these difficult times,” said NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla.
The tone of General Khalifa Haftar has changed radically since the withdrawal of his Russian allies from the siege of Tripoli.
Over the weekend, reports from Egypt – a major backer of Haftar and the LNA – said the general was backing a ceasefire that would come into effect as of June 8.
A statement from the United Stations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said a “political solution” was within grasp and that it was ready to support a fully inclusive process. “The tragedy that has beset Libya for more than a year has proven, beyond any doubt, that any war among Libyans is a losing war.”