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Production resumes at strife-hit Libya oilfield

AFP  |  Tripoli 

Libya's National Oil Company said Thursday production had resumed at a key field in the southwest a day after it was interrupted by fighting there.

"Following the cessation of military activity at the (Al-Feel) oilfield, production has resumed," the NOC said in a statement on its website.

Forces backing eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar, who seized Al-Feel earlier this year, on Wednesday accused "militias" who back the Tripoli-based unity government of attacking the site.

Haftar's forces said they had carried out air raids in response.

No side has yet claimed the original attack.

On Wednesday evening, Haftar's forces said there had been a "withdrawal of armed groups" after the air raids, without elaborating.

Haftar's spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari confirmed on Facebook that his forces were in control of the site.

Announcing the resumption of output Thursday, the NOC reported "some minor damage" but said no employees had been harmed. NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla condemned the fighting.

"I remind all parties that Libya's oil and gas fields are vital sources of revenues for the benefit of all Libyans," he said.

"When production ceases, all Libyans lose out." Al-Feel produces some 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) in a joint venture between the NOC and Italian energy giant ENI.

Forces backing Libya's unity government have been locked in a months-long struggle with Haftar's forces, which control much of eastern and southern Libya and in April launched an assault to seize the capital from what they call "terrorist groups".

Haftar's rapid advance stalled on the outskirts of Tripoli and the fighting has so far killed more than 1,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Libya has been engulfed in a multi-sided conflict since long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in 2011, with attacks often affecting its vital oil sector.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 29 2019. 00:35 IST
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