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Libya Lifts Force Majeure at All Oil Ports, Resumes Exports
16/09/2016 14:23:00
NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla.

Tripoli—Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced Thursday that it had lifted force majeure at all its oil ports and that oil exports are resuming.

NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla, during a visit to the Libyan largest oil terminal of Zuetina, said that “NOC is in charge of the ports”.

“They are secure, and we have been in contact with our foreign commercial partners. NOC assessment teams have reported that Zuetina and Brega ports are intact,” he added

The Libyan National Army succeeded on 11 September in taking control of the four oil ports from the militias which blockaded exports since 2013 and two days later officially handed them over to NOC’s chairman.

Speaking to reporters on 13 September as he visited Zuetina oil terminals, Sanalla said “we can raise production to 600,000 b/d within four weeks and to 950,000 b/d by the end of the year from around 290,000 b/d at present”.

Sanalla said the ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sidra were not further damaged during recent events.

“NOC is therefore lifting force majeure at all Oil Crescent ports. Exports will resume immediately from Zuetina and Ras Lanuf, and will continue at Brega, in accordance with the instructions given to me by House of Representatives and the Presidency Council. Exports will resume from Es Sidra as soon as possible,” he declared.

Force majeure is a legal term that frees a company from any contractual obligation due to circumstances beyond its control.

The latest developments are viewed by the public as an extremely positive who are mobilizing in support of the national army which has broken the stalemate around the resumption of oil exports which lasted for three years.

Force majeure is a legal protection from liability invoked when performance of a contract is interrupted due to events beyond the control of the contractual parties. Force majeure was declared at Es Sidra and Ras Lanuf in December 14, 2014. Both ports were damaged in attacks in January 2016. Force majeure was declared at Zuetina on November 3, 2015. Force majeure was not declared on exports from Brega.

Sanalla commended Libyan leaders and politicians “for choosing unity of Libya and reconciliation at this critical juncture”.

He said the developments on 11 and 12 September had “the potential to escalate, with potentially devastating consequences for the nation and our petroleum industry. Instead, we have found a shared interest in letting the oil flow, and the wisdom of that decision needs to be recognized".

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