The board of directors of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) strongly condemns calls to blockade oil ports ahead of the Berlin Conference on Sunday.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said:
“The oil and gas sector is the lifeblood of the Libyan economy and the single source of income for the Libyan people. The oil and the oil facilities belong to the Libyan people. They are not cards to be played to solve political matters.
“Shutting down oil exports and production will have far-reaching and predictable consequences. If the shutdown is prolonged, we face collapse of the exchange rate, a huge and unsustainable increase in the national deficit, the departure of foreign contractors, and the loss of future production which may take years to restore. The main beneficiaries of this act will be other oil-producing states, and the harm will be entirely to Libyans. This is like setting fire to your own house.
“If the fields are shut, the production loss will be immediate. We have limited available storage at our main ports. If they are closed, we will need to reduce production immediately, and to shut down entirely when available storage is filled. That could be in as little as five days.”
“Blockading oil facilities is a criminal act. If these threats are carried out, NOC will prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent possible under Libyan and international law. NOC also calls on the security forces claiming to protect its facilities to prevent any attempts at start a blockade, and warns that their failure to do so will force the corporation to look at other options to protect vital facilities that belong to the Libyan people.”
(Source: National Oil Corporation)