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The forceful takeover of several oil export terminals by eastern Libya militia leader Khalifa Haftar has been welcomed by the country’s top oil official, who has promised the immediate resumption of exports. But it has divided the Presidential Council (PC) and drawn robust criticism from several of Libya’s international partners.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) has taken control of three export facilities on eastern Libya’s ‘Oil Crescent’: 450,000 b/d-capacity Es Sider, and the Zueitina and Ras Lanuf terminals, both around 250,000 b/d. The militia in control of the 150,000 b/d Marsa el-Brega terminal, at the time the only operating port in the east of Libya, was already sympathetic to the LNA. Commanded by Mr Khalid Haftar, the LNA began a series of attacks on 11 September, wresting control of the three terminals from the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), a militia led by Ibrahim al-Jathran. It was in full control of the terminals by 12 September and is ready to pump oil on behalf of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), according to LNA spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari. (CONTINUED - 1274 WORDS)