The Libyan National Army (LNA) loyal to the eastern government, has established its presence close to Zueitina’s oil terminal with an intention to protect and secure oil ports earmarked for crude export by the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli, Reuters reported. The LNA also announced that it will take over the remaining key oil terminals – Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, and threatened to target oil tankers that do not have permission from eastern authorities to dock in the port.
This signifies a potential conflict that may arise between the eastern and western leaderships that would come on the heels of a recently concluded agreement to end blockades of the country’s oil terminals in Zueitina, Es Sider, and Ras Lanuf, according to Bloomberg. The deal was signed between the GNA and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), that controlled oil ports, at the end of July.
Libya’s oil production currently stands at about 200,000 b/d, a fraction of the 1.6m b/d the OPEC member produced before the 2011 political uprising.