The Libyan National Oil Corporation said on Thursday that the closed Sharara oilfield is expected to lose 8,500 barrels per day to looting after three security breaches in a week.
The NOC said on its website that an inspection team reported the theft of key operational equipment, including transformers and cables from several wells.
“The incident will reduce Sharara’s output by approximately 8,500 barrels per day even after the main system restarts operations.” The NOC added.
NOC called on the “government” to consider and implement emergency security measures to reestablish order and halt looting of the field.
“The legitimate and rightful concerns of the Southern Libyan communities are being hijacked and abused by armed gangs, who instead of protecting the field to generate wealth for all Libyans, are actually enabling its exploitation and looting.” NOC’s Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said.
He added that the NOC is very concerned that such attacks are not simple robberies but are part of a systematic attempt to destroy the Sharara system.
“We call on all Libyans to stand against criminal acts that have a lasting and damaging effect on our economy, and urge immediate security reforms,” Sanallah said.
He added that Libya needs Sharara oilfield to be back to operations as soon as possible and for that, real protection of the field is critical.
“Criminals should not be able to hold the whole country to ransom.” NOC’s Chairman explained.
Wednesday’s theft comes after NOC registered two other security breaches this week – an attack by an armed group who physically assaulted a civil guard, and a theft by another criminal group, who forced their way into the field’s support facility to steal vital goods.