The blockade was implemented on April 30, after the Indian-flagged vessel ”Distya Ameya”, which attempted unlawfully to load crude oil, was designated by the United Nations Libya Sanctions Committee and forced to return its cargo to the internationally recognized and rightful owner, NOC.
“We and our colleagues at AGOCO have been working hard to find a solution, but what is happening at Hariga is part of a larger political struggle,” said NOC spokesperson Mohamed el-Harari.
“The people responsible for shutting Hariga need to know the consequences of their actions,” said Mr el-Harari. “The blockade will cause serious harm and bring no benefits. First, there are the technical consequences. We have reduced oil production from the oil fields in the south east that supply Hariga to one-third of previous levels. In less than three weeks we will have to shut production completely because the tanks at Hariga will be full. Oil from some of the fields is high in wax and it will solidify in the pipelines if it does not move. If that happens, some of that production capacity may be lost to us permanently.
“Then there are the financial consequences. Exports from Hariga account for three-quarters of our total oil production. After they are stopped, payments to the Central Bank will dry up and libyan Dinar will be badly effected ,We have revenue from gas exports, but our national income will be halved. Imports or subsidies or perhaps both will have to be cut. Then shortages of fuel, electricity, food and medicines that people have been complaining about will really begin to deteriorate.”
“The worst thing is this blockade will achieve nothing,” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla. “In terms of legitimacy, which is what the blockaders want, it is a dead end. So I am asking them to reconsider their approach. Open the ports for the well-being of our country.”
“Unity is the only solution for our country. There is only one NOC and it is a model of what we can be,” said Mr Sanalla. “It is full of honest, hardworking people from all over the country. It represents the best of Libya.”