Libya: oil blockade causes over $3.5 billion in losses - NOC

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The Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) has suffered losses of over $3.5 billion because of the forced closure of major oil sites since mid-April.

Management of the company announced on Thursday declaring a state of "force majeure" at some facilities.

"After the expiry of the 72 hours and the loss of more than 16 billion Libyan dinars, the NOC has decided to declare a state of force majeure" on the facilities in the Gulf of Sirte (north), the company said in a statement.

The company on Monday warned that it would be forced to "force majeure" within three days if production and export did not resume in the terminals of the Gulf of Sirte.

"We are forced to declare force majeure on the terminals of al-Sidra (east) and Ras Lanouf (east) and on the field of al-Fil" (south), said the head of the NOC Mustafa Sanalla, quoted in the statement.

According to the NOC, production has "fallen sharply" and exports have dropped to between "365,000 and 409,000 b/d, a loss of 865,000 b/d" compared to the average production before the crisis.

In addition, 220 million cubic metres of gas are lost every day, although this is necessary to supply the electricity network.

The drop in gas production is contributing to the chronic power cuts that Libya is currently experiencing, which last a dozen hours daily.

Plunged into chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011 and undermined by divisions between the east and west of the country, Libya, which has the most abundant reserves in Africa, is in the grip of an inextricable institutional crisis.

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