NOC deeply concerned at potential for military escalation, deployment of foreign mercenaries at oil installations
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) today said is deeply concerned at reports of the increasing likelihood of an intensification of the military conflict, potentially extending to oil and gas facilities.
NOC condemns the deployment of Wagner Group, Syrian and Janjaweed mercenaries in the oil installations, most recently at Es Sidra port, and NOC demands their immediate withdrawal from all facilities. NOC calls on the United Nations Mission in Libya to send observers to supervise the demilitarisation in the areas of NOC operations across the country.
NOC's primary concern is the safety and welfare of the 65,000 staff who work for the NOC across Libya. NOC Chairman Eng Mustafa Sanalla has instructed NOC managers to review safety measures in the light of the increased threats.
But all Libyans need to remember that Libya is dependent on its ability to produce and export oil and gas. Protecting oil infrastructure from damage is therefore a priority for all those who wish Libya to thrive. Unfortunately, there are currently large numbers of foreign mercenaries in NOC facilities who do not share this wish. They work for governments who have an active interest in blockading Libyan production and damaging Libyan infrastructure because this translates into millions of dollars of additional revenue for their own oil industries.
To protect Libyan oil infrastructure, NOC is closely monitoring and documenting the illegal activities currently taking place inside NOC facilities and will continue to do so. NOC will not hesitate to seek prosecution for those who damage Libya's only significant source of revenue.
The ongoing Libyan oil blockade not only helps foreign oil exporters by removing Libyan production from global markets, it also causes enormous damage to Libyan wells, fields and pipelines, further eroding Libya's future wealth and productive capability.
NOC calls on all Libyans to support a lifting of the oil blockade, and to counter the interests of foreign agents intent on preventing Libya from producing oil. It is essential that all Libyans work to prevent control of oil facilities from being used as a political bargaining chip by armed groups. This requires a professional and independent oilfield security force capable of resisting pressure from dissatisfied armed groups.
Transparency from all sides over public money and oil revenues is essential. NOC has been calling for more transparency from all institutions for years. Maximum transparency will convince reasonable and fair-minded Libyans that they should work towards building peace rather than pursuing conflict.