London, UK | – Libya’s National Oil Corporation will lift force majeure at three ports seized days earlier by eastern forces, and exports will resume immediately at two of the ports, it said on Thursday.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement he had accepted a handover of the ports from forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar during a visit to Zueitina on Wednesday.
“Exports will resume immediately from Zueitina and Ras Lanuf, and will continue at Brega,” Sanalla said, adding the decision was taken according to instructions from both the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and a parliament based in the east. “Exports will resume from Es Sider as soon as possible.”
The NOC declared force majeure because of the events that prevented the company to export oil in line with its contract obligations beyond the company’s control. According to the company, force majeure was declared at Es Sidra and Ras Lanuf in 2014 and at Zuetina in 2015. Oil exports from Brega were not affected by force majeure.
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since 2011, when a civil war began in the country and long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. In December, Libya’s rival governments — the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress — agreed to create the Government of National Accord (GNA) and end the political impasse. The Tobruk-based administration claimed that the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli had been distributing oil sale revenues unfairly. It said the Libyan armed forces had acted to protect the source of national income and end political blackmail that cost Libya $100 billion over the past three years.