Libyan oil chief says state-owned corporation won't give in to Petroleum Facilities Guard's extortion

Libyan oil chief says state-owned corporation won't give in to Petroleum Facilities Guard's extortion

October 04, 2017 - 22:40
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Most of the Petroleum Facilities Guard's (PFG) personnel are a trouble for the National Oil Corporation (NOC), said chairman Mustafa Sanallah.

Sanallah added in a statement on TV on Wednesday that the PFG personnel are not doing their jobs as to securing the fields, oil pipelines, refineries and oil terminals.

"Some of the PFG personnel are cooperating with armed groups outside the lawful composition of their department, thus becoming indifferent to their work, which is protecting fuel shipments to southern Libya that is now witnessing soaring smuggling operations. Not to mention that they should be securing the oil facilities against any sabotage and terror acts." Sanallah indicated.

He also talked about a security issue that could be as equal as a terrorist act - referring to the closure of Sharara oilfield on Sunday - saying that such an act that was repeated more than once is squandering 234 barrels per day of crude oil.

"The NOC is being blackmailed and terrorized," Sanallah said, adding that they need protection for the thousands of workers, with some of them working in faraway areas like Sharara oilfield in the far southwest of Libya.

Sanallah also said that the NOC won't give in to the ones closing the fields and to the extortion of the PFG, adding that if they have any demands, they should ask the concerned authorities not block the country's oil production and point guns at the workers, explaining that the demands are all about the salary payments.

"Last Sunday, three armed groups of defense ministry brigades which are securing Sharara oilfield closed the field and the NOC bears no responsibility for the late salary payments as they are not part of the cooperation." Sanallah further explained.

He also said that the oilfield administration agreed to suspend production and verbally told the Presidential Council, the House of Representatives, the Attorney General and the Audit Bureau about it.

"Oil sector is fluctuating in Libya and its expenditures are troubling the state reserves leading the Central Bank of Libya to announce austerity measures, while the shutdown of the oilfield will add to the expenditure at Al-Zawiya Refinery, let alone the technical issues due to the blockade on production for three years and the bade conditions of pipelines." Sanalllah elaborated.

The armed group mentioned by Sanallah shut down Sharara oilfield on Sunday over salary payments and the NOC announced Monday the resumption if production after reaching an agreement with the armed group via tribal elders mediation efforts, however, it turned out Libya's key oilfield is still closed up until now.