Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) stated that clashes at oil facilities on the country’s northeast coast have caused “catastrophic losses” after two storage tanks were destroyed, News 24 reported.
Armed groups attacked the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider terminals around 650 kilometers east of Tripoli on June 14. The terminals were held by forces loyal to head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar.
The NOC stated that it had stopped all exports from the terminals because of the fighting. On Thursday, NOC chief Mustafa Sanallah warned that a continued halt in exports from the terminals could cause a “national disaster.” The NOC later stated that the country’s oil output could fall by up to 400,000 barrels per day (b/d) if disruptions were to continue.
Ras Lanuf’s storage capacity has been reduced from 950,000 to 550,000 as a result of the attack, the NOC said.
Ras Lanuf exported 110,000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude in May 2018, while Es Sider’s exports totaled 300,000 b/d.
The Minerva Lisa oil tanker, scheduled to arrive at Es Sider on June 14, was advised to stay outside the port and was seen turning away without loading.
LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mesmari stated that they had “launched a major offensive supported by the army and air force to drive out the militias of [Ibrahim] Jadhran and his allies.”
Ibrahim Jadhran’s Petroleum Facilities Guard have controlled the terminals from the 2011 Libyan revolution until 2016 when they were forced out by the LNA. On Thursday, Jadhran released a video stating that he had formed an alliance to retake the terminals.