By John Lee.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed on Monday that production at the Sharara oil field has resumed following 24-hour suspension.
The stoppage caused half a million barrels of production to be lost, at an estimated cost of $30 million.
Hassan Mohamed al-Hadi, a landowner in the western Zintan area, told Reuters:
“I closed the [Sharara-Zawiya] pipeline that crosses my land. The land is six hectares and it has become wasteland [due to pollution] …
“We closed the pipeline last year for the same reason. A number of mediators had intervened to persuade me to reopen it within 20 days for cleaning the land, but unfortunately the same thing has returned.”
But the NOC, which names the owner as Hassan Mohammed Juili, strongly refutes the allegations of pollution. Its Chairman, Mustafa Sanalla, commented:
“We can confirm the perpetrator will be prosecuted fully under Libyan law and justice will be done. Such closures and attempts at blackmail are not fit for our times. NOC remains the guardian of Libya’s oil wealth and will not bargain for it.”
The NOC operates the Sharara field in partnership with Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil.