Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared force majeure on the country's largest oil field Sharara after halting crude oil loadings at Al-Zawiya port on Tuesday.
NOC stopped production in Sharara as a result of a probe into a suspected valve closure by unidentified perpetrators, which disrupted crude oil supply from Sharara to the port, according to the company's statement.
This is the second illegal valve closure and violation of pipeline security in the last ten days, the company said.
"NOC has also notified commercial partners about this development. Staff from NOC’s subsidiary, Akakus Oil Operations attempted to reopen the valve but were prevented from doing so by a local armed group. Negotiations are ongoing in an effort to restart production as soon as possible." the company said.
The Chairman of the NOC, Mustafa Sanallah said that the latest incident only serves to highlight the fragility of the security and added, "The loss of production at Libya’s largest oilfield severely disrupts power supply to the grid and continued funding of basic services. This is most acutely felt by communities in the South."
He also said efficient operational budget should be strengthened for increased industrial security procedures for preventing such incidents.
Last week, NOV said Sharara oilfield had regained its production capacity levels after force majeure had been lifted on July 23.
The incident in late July caused a loss of 290.000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude - a financial loss of approximately 19 million dollars a day.
In early July, Libya's production level was between1.2 and 1.3 million barrels per day, the highest level in six years, with the aim of reaching to 1.6 million bpd, which was the capacity before the civil war.
By Busranur Begcecanli