Deal Reached To Resume Oil Export From Libya’s Hariga Port
- May 18, 2016-
Representatives of the two rival governments in Libya have reportedly reached a deal that will allow for the continuation of oil shipments from the country’s Marsa El Hariga port.
The agreement between the Tripoli-based and Beyda governments has been sealed following talks in Vienna, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources close to the negotiations. The key argument for closing the deal was to “avoid damage to pipelines, avert a financial crisis, and ensure power supplies are not interrupted further,” the sources said.
The blockade of Marsa el-Hariga port has been in force since April 30, after the Indian-flagged vessel Distya Ameya, which attempted to ship first crude oil for Libya’s rival government, was prevented from doing so, following blacklisting from the UN Security Council, forcing it to return the cargo.
Beyda-based government issued a counter blow to Tripoli by blocking crude oil loadings of the National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) vessels, resulting in cargo cancellations.
The impact of the blockade has been considerable, and the country’s officials raised fears that should it continue it would have considerable technical consequences for the port.
Namely, according to NOC spokesman Mohamed el-Harari, oil production from the oil fields in the south east that supply Hariga has been reduced to one-third of previous levels, adding that production is likely to be completely shut because the tanks at Hariga will be full in three weeks should the blockade persist.
Exports from Hariga account for three-quarters of Libya’s total oil production.
World Maritime News Staff