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Libyan Oil Exports Blocked, Washington Calls For Their Immediate Resumption

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Libyan Oil Exports Blocked, Washington Calls For Their Immediate Resumption

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On January 21st, the US called for an immediate resumption of oil operations in Libya, as oil exports from the country have been blocked since January 17th.

The US embassy issued a statement calling for the immediate unblocking of the oil ports, in order to not cause any more suffering for the Libyan people.

Prior to the statement, the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) issued a statement outlining what was happening.

According to it, the oil ports of Zouitina, Harika, Brega, Sidra and Ras Lanuf were blocked and an order was given to suspend exports from those ports.

The port in Benghazi is still open, and a tanker is being unloaded, with another tanker from Zawiya refinery had arrived on January 20th.

As of January 19th, the Hamada pumping station, as well as production from the entire Hamada oil field was also stopped.

Production from the Sharara and Elephant oil fields was blocked. This, in turn, would cause shortages when the stocks run low and there will be a loss of power.

“The crude oil production rates have been reduced as much as possible to avoid a complete cessation of production. It should be noted that the closing of operations of the fields will cause losses in the production of crude oil of 1.2 million barrels per day, and financial losses estimated at about $77 million per day.”

The blockage was blamed on “pro-Haftar” parties, powerful tribal groups loyal to Haftar, whose forces control eastern Libya and much of the south, seized several large export terminals. They were captured along the eastern coast as well as southern oil fields in a challenge to the UN-assigned Government of National Accord (GNA), which collects revenues from oil production.

The NOC condemned the unrest, describing oil as the “lifeblood of the Libyan economy” and the country’s only source of revenue.

“Oil facilities belong to the Libyan people and should not be used as a card for political bargaining,” the chairman of the corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, said.

In a press briefing on January 18th, spokesperson of the Libyan National Army Brigadier General Ahmad al-Mesmari said that the LNA hadn’t blocked the oil ports and fields, but rather it was the people, who were fed up with the GNA and its hired militants.

“The Libyan people are the ones who shut down oil ports and fields and are preventing oil exports,” said spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari, adding that it sent a “message of rejection” to militia groups defending Tripoli.

It is, however, likely that the LNA assisted in coordinating the block, in order to pressure the foreign powers benefitting from the oil revenues from Libya. Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces wish to consolidate power for the democratically-elected House of Representatives and purge militants from the country. While many of those same militants are employed by the GNA in an attempt to enforce its rule.

Potentially in connection with the blocking of the oil facilities, the CIA-linked Phoenix Air Group GIII N197PA flew from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Libya.

The UN Security Council, as well as NATO are calling a ceasefire to be established, coordinated between the LNA and GNA.

On the ground, LNA air raids during the night struck GNA positions on January 20th.

Prior to that the GNA targeted LNA groups near the Takbali camp.

There is active shelling and air raids taking place from both sides, with the LNA reportedly having the upper hand, but still making little progress in capturing Tripoli.

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  • Mehmet Aslanak

    GNA is funding Syrian militia with oil revenues, that’s why LNA stopped sending oil, money doesn’t come to LNA, but goes to the GNA pockets.

  • John Wallace

    It is so pleasing to see the concern America has for the humanitarian welfare of the Libyian people. An outstanding stance to take as they await the smell of Napalm and burning flesh in the morning.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx5N-4JvVyk

    • FlorianGeyer

      ” The US embassy issued a statement calling for the immediate unblocking of the oil ports, in order to not cause any more suffering for the Libyan people.”

      Yeah, right :)
      The US ‘protection of oil’ is a truly humanitarian concept of US Double Speak. :)

      • John Wallace

        Of course absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of anyone other than themselves. And the sheep will prefer nibbling on that than the grass. I think I better get one of those ” The End is Nigh ” placards and stand on a corner. At least I will get free eggs and fruit.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Lol.

      • goingbrokes

        The oil must flow is the only humanitarian concept that exists in the neocon brain of US admin.

        • FlorianGeyer

          When judgement day arrives for the US , there will be an opportunity replace the blood of those who support the oil thefts within the USA and elsewhere , with a transfusion of oil into their veins :)

  • verner

    yes the concern the ambassador has for the libyan people is mind boggling although it had been better if obama had had such concerns before he set the entire nato war machine in motion against libya and bombing africa’s most affluent country to rubble – let’s have another benghazi please.

  • Ken Sebastian

    Trump, “I like the oil, we will keep the oil.”

  • Ken Sebastian

    The question becomes, exactly who is pocketing the cash from the stolen oil? Anyone able to shed light on that?

  • Ken Sebastian

    The things Gaddafi did with the oil revenue for the Libyan people are legendary. 60 thousand dollar government gift to every newly wed couple, Almost free gasoline for the people. An “impossible” water pipeline across the dessert that delivered an abundance of water to populated previously arid areas. But the American and Israeli Neocons decided they needed to topple this “brutal dictator” and the country is now destroyed.

  • You can call me Al

    “LIBYAN OIL EXPORTS BLOCKED, WASHINGTON CALLS FOR THEIR IMMEDIATE RESUMPTION”

    Sorry “WASHINGTON CALLS FOR THEIR IMMEDIATE RESUMPTION” – fuck yourselves you warmongering scum, Libya was a fantastic place before you devasted it.

  • goingbrokes

    We destroy countries and afterwards we are very concerned about their welfare, especially if their oil is not entering the world markets at reduced rates.