Libya’s ‘National Army’ Takes El Sharara

General Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based, self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) on 11 February took control of the shut-in 315,000 b/d El Sharara field, giving him another large chunk of the country’s oil and gas infrastructure.

Mr Haftar’s strategy of courting support by promising security appears to be paying off. Since announcing southern operation to “secure” key infrastructure in the south and clear the area of “terrorists” ( MEES, 18 January ), the LNA has taken control of strategic locations and military sites in and around the southern city of Sebha, largely through peaceful agreements with local tribes and groups.

El Sharara has been shut-in since 9 December following the takeover of its facilities by an armed group and protesters ( MEES, 14 December 2018 ). While eastern-based officials have called for a swift restart to production from Sharara, the NOC stated on 12 February it would only resume operations if employee safety was guaranteed. MEES estimates the shut-in has cost Libya close to $1.3bn in lost revenues. (CONTINUED - 299 WORDS)