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Oil Ports Still at Risk Despite Talks to Reopen

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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The brigade guarding two main oil ports is in talks with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) about reopening the ports to begin exporting oil after production was halted in 2014.

The Petroleum Facilities Guard, the brigade guarding the oil ports in Ras Lanuf and Es Sider led by Ibrahim Jathran are working towards reopening, estimating an increased export of production to reach 600,000 barrels a day.

Instability and chaos in Libya has crippled its oil industry. Both ports were closed in 2014 when internal clashes between various Libyan militia groups intensified in addition to the the terrorist group ISIS establishing base in Libya.

Mousa Alkoni, a representative of the GNA’s presidential council said “we are holding discussions with the Petroleum Facilities Guard of the central region… After the discussions with the PFG are finished, the force majeure will be lifted.”

Alkoni said that he has doubts about the quantity of oil will reach exports at previous levels soon after the ports are opened.

Following the downfall of Gaddafi oil production in Libya was reduced to less than a quarter of its export quantity before the uprising, around 350,000 barrels a day.

Expert analyst expect there to be delays in getting Libya back to the oil production quantity that it was at before the uprising due to the damages the ports sustained from the clashes between local militia groups and the battle against ISIS.

The NOC based in Tripoli has unified with its eastern counterparts in aims to relaunch Libya’s oil production, however, it is up to armed militias to ensure that the ports are not attacked again.

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