The embassy of the United Kingdom (UK) said in a statement on Saturday it was concerned by the ongoing oil blockade and reports of foreign interference in Libya’s oil fields.

“The oil blockade has cost Libya over USD 6 billion since January, with negative economic consequences for the Libyan people.” The UK embassy in Libya added, saying that the blockade also resulted in damage to Libya’s oil infrastructure, saying that reports of interference by foreign mercenaries in Sharara oil field are troubling.

“Militarization of Libya’s energy sector is unacceptable and risks further damage. As Libya’s main source of income, the energy sector is vital to Libya’s post-conflict recovery and reconstruction." The embassy added, explaining that the sector should not be used as a political bargaining chip.

The UK reaffirmed its support for the National Oil Corporation (NOC) as Libya’s sole independent oil company charged with the stewardship of Libya’s oil, adding that the NOC should be allowed to resume production unimpeded for the benefit of all Libyans.

It also called on all parties to constructively engage in the UN-led political dialogue, reiterating that foreign interference only undermines these efforts.

On Monday, the NOC said there were talks aiming at resuming oil production and lifting the blockade, indicating that the talks included regional countries, which are behind the shutdown of Libyan oil, under the auspices of the UN.