The cumulative losses resulting from the current blockades imposed by the rebel forces headed by warlord Khalifa Haftar are close to $5 billion, the country's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said, amid the conflict escalation between the UN-recognized government and warlord Khalifa Haftar's militia.
The El Sharara oil terminal in Libya was seized over the weekend by groups loyal to Haftar, cutting it off from the country's northwestern port of Zawiya -- a key port for oil exports.
NOC pointed to the severe losses that have impacted the Libyan state as a result of the frequent blockades on the oil sector since 2011 and added the “consequences have become salient on various aspects of life in Libya.”
The statement stressed that as a result of oil field and port blockades from July 2016 to September 2019 by the self-imposed Libyan militia leader Ibrahim Jadran, the Libyan economy suffered huge losses that have exceeded '$100 billion.'
According to NOC, the country’s losses due to Haftar’s current blockade amount to $4.9 billion, which it said was impossible to recoup from the current reserves.
The company said the current status is considered very harmful to the economic future of the country, “as this amount could cover part of the state’s expenses such as salaries, fuel subsidies, or the crisis of the Corona pandemic or other crisis, bearing in mind that this pandemic has consumed large oil states that already have a strong economy.”
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, but nine years of conflict and violence in the country since 2011 have severely hurt production and exports.
By Sibel Morrow