Rival Libyan factions have reached an outline agreement to join forces and form a single oil authority operating throughout the country, Reuters reported. The news was announced by the Foreign Minister of the UN-backed unity government, Mohammed Siyala, and came following the talks in Vienna that reached a deal between east and west governments to resume shipments from Hariga port. The exports were blocked due to the conflict between the internationally recognized Tripoli-based NOC, and the national corporation in the east.

“These institutions can only be managed centrally. That is why it was agreed that both institutions from east and west be united, so that there is only one oil company, one investment company and one central bank,” minister Siyala said

Furthermore, he added that “the first steps to achieve this are being taken now, there is an agreement on the basic points and principles and now we’re waiting for the implementation,” Daily Mail wrote.

When asked about the time frame of the first export, Siayala stated: “You know that sanctions against Libya existed… Now it’s up to us. There is already a shipment from the official ports and with international agreement and under international rules and I believe that oil exports, be they from the eastern or western ports, will return to what they used to be.”

By his side, NOC East Chairman, Nagi Elmagrabi, stated that  crude exports from Hariga are due to restart “within about three days”.The shipments will ease an export bottleneck and allow for a revival in the nation’s crude production, he said. “We agreed to keep the National Oil Corp. neutral, away from political conflicts,” Elmagrabi concluded.