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29.04.2019 Libya

Fighting at Libya's main oil field condemned by company

AFP
Africa Fighting took place overnight at Libya's main oil field, the National Oil Company says without identifying the combatants.  By Fadel SENNA (AFP)
APR 29, 2019 LIBYA
Fighting took place overnight at Libya's main oil field, the National Oil Company says without identifying the combatants. By Fadel SENNA (AFP)

Fighting took place overnight at Libya's main oil field, the National Oil Company said on Monday without identifying the combatants.

The NOC said on Twitter that it "forcefully condemns overnight clashes and an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) attack on station 186 at the #Sharara oil field."

Al-Sharara is located about 900 kilometres (560 miles) south of Tripoli is run by Akakus, a joint venture between the NOC, the Spanish group Repsol, Total of France, Austria's OMV and Norway's Statoil.

It produces 315,000 barrels per day, or nearly one third of Libya's oil output, but has frequently been the target of attacks and blocked by militias.

The NOC said "production remains unaffected" from the overnight fighting and staff were unharmed.

It called for "the immediate cessation of hostilities, both across the country, and in and around key national energy infrastructure."

Libya plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with a multitude of militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

It has two rival governments: the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and a parallel administration in the east of the country.

In February forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar, who backs the eastern administration, seized the Al-Sharara field without fighting as part of a military operation in the south of the country.

Since April 4, Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army has been carrying out an offensive on Tripoli but has met stiff resistance from forces loyal to the GNA.

The fighting has killed at least 278 people and wounded 1,332, according to the World Health Organization. More than 40,000 people have been displaced.

The NOC on Saturday expressed concerns about the fighting.

"NOC rejects all attempts to use corporation equipment and facilities for military objectives," said chairman Mustafa Sanalla.

"NOC is the lifeline of the Libyan economy and must be protected from all forms of conflict," he said in a statement.

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