Libya’s NOC says all oil fields reopen after ceasefire

Libya’s National Oil Corporation said Monday it lifted the last remaining force majeure on an oil facility in the war-torn country, three days after rival factions struck a ceasefire deal.

The state-run NOC said in a statement on Facebook that it was declaring “the ending of the blockades in the entire Libyan fields and ports as of today”.

“Instructions have been given to the operator, Mellitah Oil & Gas BV, to resume production in Al-Feel oil field and the gradual return of Mellitah crude to its normal level in the next few days,” it added.

Force majeure refers to external unforeseen elements that prevent a party from fulfilling a contract.

Blocked for more than 10 months, the Al-Feel oil field is located about 750 kilometres (some 465 miles) southwest of Tripoli.

It normally produces some 70,000 barrels per day in a joint venture between NOC and Italy’s ENI.

Libya has been in chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The country, which sits atop Africa’s largest proven crude oil reserves, has been torn between forces loyal to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli and strongman Khalifa Haftar, who backs a rival administration in the east.

But the two warring factions signed a UN-brokered “permanent ceasefire” on Friday.

The NOC announced the same day the reopening of two key export terminals, Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra, after it received “confirmations that foreign forces had left the ports’ area.”

Up to January, Libyan oil production stood at 1.25 million barrels per day, but then drastically declined as Haftar’s forces imposed a months-long blockade of oilfields and ports.

The Haftar camp said it acted to correct what it called an unfair distribution of oil revenues.

Haftar agreed last month to lift the blockade, which the NOC has estimated resulted in lost revenues of $10 billion (8.5 billion euros).