TUNIS (Reuters) – Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) on Sunday implicated the United Arab Emirates of advising eastern forces in Libya’s civil war to reimpose a blockade of oil exports after the departure of a first tanker in six months.
SUBMIT IMAGE: A view shows the oil port of Es Sider, Libya, March 16,2017 Photo taken March 16,2017 REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
The UAE, together with Russia and Egypt, supports the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar, which on Saturday stated the blockade would continue regardless of it having let a tanker load with oil from storage.
” NOC has been informed that the directions to close down production were offered to (the LNA) by the United Arab Emirates,” it stated in a statement, resuming force majeure on all oil exports.
There was no instant comment on NOC’s allegation from either the LNA or the UAE.
Haftar has been on the back foot after Turkish assistance assisted the internationally recognised Federal government of National Accord (GNA) turn back his 14- month assault on the capital Tripoli.
After the GNA picked up speed, NOC also tried to restart production at the Sharara oilfield, but said this effort was quickly shut down and implicated Russian mercenaries combating alongside the LNA of releasing there.
On Friday the Vitol tanker Kriti Bastion docked and packed at Es Sider port prior to sailing on Saturday, the very first legal export of Libyan oil because the blockade was enforced in January. NOC stated Russian and Syrian mercenaries battling together with the LNA now occupied Es Sider.
Under worldwide agreements just NOC can produce and export oil and earnings need to stream into the Central Bank of Libya. Both those institutions are based in Tripoli, seat of the GNA.
The LNA stated on Saturday it would keep up the blockade up until a list of conditions were met, including directing oil earnings into a brand-new savings account based outside the country to then be dispersed regionally.
On Sunday the United States’ Libya embassy said the resumption of the blockade followed “days of intense diplomatic activity” to let NOC resume output, and said it “regrets that foreign-backed efforts” had actually hindered this.
Reporting by Angus McDowall; Modifying by Pravin Char and Louise Heavens