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Armed groups blockade Al Wafaa oil field runway west of Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – The Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) has announced that “the Al Wafaa oil field airport was blockaded on the morning of Tuesday, in an attempt to force Mellitah Oil and Gas Company into the award of catering and road maintenance contracts.”

“If the blockade continues, [Mellitah Oil and Gas] will be forced to suspend all operations in the Al-Wafaa field and possibly evacuate employees. A shutdown of operations has begun which will result in the cessation of gas supply from Al Wafaa to the Al Ruwais power plant.” NOC said in a press release on its official website today.

“The action is led by Khaled and Abdelhamid Al Wakwak and members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard in the south-west. An operational shutdown will affect citizens in the Western mountain area, and potentially result in power outages.” NOC added.

The national oil company said it condemns “this irresponsible act that will only result in harm to the local economy and the livelihood of Libyan citizens,” noting that “this act comes just days after the United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts Libya report, in which the acts and interests of predatory armed groups are deemed as running ‘counter to those of local communities and affect the normal functioning of the oil sector.’”

NOC also said in the press release that it “demanded the immediate end to the blockade and the re-opening of the runway without precondition. NOC does not negotiate under duress, will only operate in the national interest, and will seek to prosecute criminal behavior under local and international laws.”

It should be noted that Al Wafaa field is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas Company, producing approximately 40,000 bpd of crude oil, condensate, and 400 million cubic feet of natural gas –  dedicated entirely to power plants.

Al Wafaa field is one of the few oil fields that are still not under the control of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which secures the vast majority of the open and running oil fields and ports in Libya, such as in the Oil Crescent and Marsa Elhariga Oil Terminal of Tobruk.

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