Libya urges UK to pursue her oil opportunities

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The UK has been urged by Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) to seek opportunities in the Libyan oil and gas sector.

Addressing the Libyan British Business Council in London, NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla outlined that projects worth billions of dollars could be issued over the coming years if the current oil blockade can be lifted and a stable Libyan government established.

“We know that UK companies will win highly profitable business in the oil and gas sector in Libya if there is a level playing field,” Sanalla stated.

“But not all of the countries involved in Libyan affairs at this point want to see a level playing field. The UK government needs to take an active role in ensuring the current oil blockade is lifted,” he added.

“It needs to play its part in creating a fair and just Libyan society based on the rule of law if British companies are to thrive in the Libyan market,” Sanalla continued.

In a statement posted on its website on Thursday, NOC said it is deeply concerned about the continued exposure of Akakus Oil Operation Company’s Sharara field to security breaches threatening the lives of employees and the safety of its facilities.    

An armed group was said to have entered the field on September 6 with a number of individuals wearing military uniform. The people were said to have occupied workers’ housing and other private property and refused to identify themselves or the authority under which they were operating. At the beginning of the week, NOC warned against the continued military occupation of its oil facilities.

On July 10, NOC revealed that it had lifted force majeure on all oil exports from the country. On July 12, however, the company announced that it had been forced to redeclare force majeure on all oil exports. NOC initially declared force majeure on January 18 after the LNA General Command blockaded oil exports from the Brega, Ras Lanuf, Hariga, Zueitina and Sidra ports.

Established in 1970, NOC replaced the general Libyan Petroleum Corporation. The company has its own fully owned companies which carry out exploration, development and production operations and has participation agreements with international companies. The business also owns national service, refining and oil and gas processing entities.

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