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Libyan Prime Minister Bashagha Announces Reopening of Oil Fields, Ports

© AFP 2023 / Abdullah DomaLibyan oil field
Libyan oil field - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Libya's oilfields and ports are free to reopen as stakeholders have reached an agreement to lift embargo imposed on the facilities, Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed Libyan Prime Minister by the eastern-based parliament in March, has announced.
"The efforts of the House of Representatives and the Libyan government to reopen the oil fields and ports were successful, after the 'Oil Crescent' bloc announced its agreement to lift the blockade imposed on oil facilities," Bashagha said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Libya was plunged into a state of political uncertainty after its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and murdered in a NATO-led intervention in 2011. Since then, the country has been split between two rival administrations. The western part of the country is under the control of the Government of National Unity headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, while the eastern part by the Libyan National Army is being led by Khalifa Haftar, who welcomed Bashagha's appointment. The country has de-facto two prime ministers at the moment — Dbeibah, who was elected in a UN-brokered election, and Bashagha, selected by the eastern-based Libyan House of Representatives.
In April, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared a force majeure at the vast Al-Sharara and Al-Fil fields and other major oil terminals, when armed groups stormed the facilities and demanded that Dbeibah hand over power to Bashagha.
In recent years, blockades of Libya's major oil fields have become more frequent as several armed groups declared themselves the so-called Libyan Petroleum Facilities Guard. These militants demand that NOC pay them for guarding oil facilities. If the payment is refused or delayed, they shut down the facilities.
Libya has the largest crude oil reserves in Africa and oil is the main source of income for the country. The start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine sent oil prices soaring. This, coupled with Europe inching toward a full ban of Russian energy products, spells a lot of trouble for countries heavily dependent on imported oil. The United States and the United Nations repeatedly urged Libyan authorities to lift the blockade.
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