Mustafa Sanalla, board member of the Libyan National Oil Corporation, said the force majeure since Dec. 10 at the county's biggest field has been extended. Photo by Mohamed Messara/EPA
Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Libya's National Oil Corp. said during the weekend that it agreed with Spain-based Repsol to keep a force majeure on the Al-Sharara field, which produced well over 300,000 barrel per day but stopped on Dec. 10 and since then remains in the center of militia confrontations.
NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla and the Repsol general manager of the Libyan unit Paolo Navas called for "a cessation of hostilities and armed conflict in and around the facility, essential to resume production operations in the field," in a press release.
Khaled Bukhtawa, NOC's safety manager, and Mehdi Samama, Repsol's deputy general manager, also took part in meetings where "latest developments" were discussed. The discussion included a report by one militia that it had taken control earlier in the week, though it was later denied in another report that included renewed fighting.
"Both parties expressed concern for the safety of staff on the ground and the overall security set-up of the site," the statement said. It is the main energy asset in a nation where oil revenue is very important.
Al-Sharara is located in the far southeast of the country, a desertic area along the border with Algeria, about 555 miles from the country's capital.
The Guardian reported last week that five were killed and 16 injured amid ongoing fighting.
Libya "urges all parties to avoid an escalation of hostilities and actions that may endanger staff or infrastructure at Libya's largest and most important field," Sanalla said, according to a report in Libya Herald.
In the latest OPEC reports, Libya saw a 172,000-barrel-per-day, month-over-month December reduction because of the militia fighting.
According to OPEC data, the country produced some 817,000 barrels per day of crude oil in 2017, exporting most of it.
Libya is a member of OPEC but it has been exonerated from contributing with any cuts.