Libya oil blockade surpasses USD 4 bln in losses

Output at only 80 bpd after Haftar shutdown

15 April, 17:59

    Libya oil blockade by general Khalifa Haftar surpasses USD 4 bln in losses Libya oil blockade by general Khalifa Haftar surpasses USD 4 bln in losses

    CAIRO - Estimated losses suffered by the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) now total over four billion dollars since the shutting down of oil pipelines and terminals by general Khalifa Haftar as part of his campaign to take over Tripoli. Haftar's troops have this week been pushed back along the western coast of the country.

    The estimate of 4.09 billion dollars in losses was published on the NOC Facebook page on Tuesday and reported in the media on Wednesday. After the blockade was imposed, output dropped from 1.22 millon barrels per day to under 80,000, according to a NOC graph. The damage is enormous for the country considering annual GDP is 56.3 billion dollars, according to World Bank figures for 2019 published on the Trading Economics website.

    Libya has the second largest oil reserves in Africa after Nigeria and is ninth internationally with 41.5 barrels, notes the Arab-Mediterranean think tank Cermam. The figure is based solely on exploration from the 1960s-70s and thus could actually be much larger, the center noted.

    On January 19, the day the Berlin conference on Libya was held, Haftar had ordered an oil blockade on five ports under his control including the country's two largest: Sidra and Ras Lnauf. Through the closing of two pipelines the following day, the general had shut down production between the Sharara oil field, the largest in Libya, and that of Hamada as well as in two operated by Italy's ENI, El Feel and Bu-Attifel. Analysts such as Chatham House's Tim Eaton say that Haftar brought in the blockade due to his view that NOC is in Tripoli's side in the ongoing conflict.

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