Libya’s state-run oil company – National Oil Corp. (NOC) – has warned that it will shutdown oil production at all fields if the nation’s authorities fail to contain a rapid increase of attacks on its facilities, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.
“If these incidents continue, National Oil Corp. will regrettably be forced to stop all operations at all fields in order to preserve the lives” (of employees), NOC said in a statement posted on its website, according to Bloomberg.
“National Oil Corp. urges the Ministry of Defense and the Petroleum Facilities Guard to take the appropriate measures to protect oil sites,” the statement added.
Libya’s oil production was cut by 180,000 barrels per day following a fire at a pipeline that transports crude oil to the eastern Hariga port, NOC spokesman Mohamed Elharari told Bloomberg by phone from Tripoli.
Libya, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, was producing 350,000 barrels a day in January, Elharari said at the time. The nation may be producing less than 200,000 barrels a day after the pipeline fire. The previous lowest daily average was in March 2014, at 150,000 barrels. A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels a day before the 2011 rebellion that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s 23-year rule.