Continental Focus, International Reach

Security Breach on Sharara

Monday, January 7, 2019

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed that the Sharara oil field started off the new year with a breach. The breach on January 1, was the third such incident in a week. An inspection team reported the theft of key operational equipment, including transformers and cables from several wells.

The incident reduces Sharara’s output by approximately 8,500 bpd even after the main system restarts operations.

In response to this series of incidents, NOC called on the government to consider and implement emergency security measures to re-establish order and halt looting of the field.

NOC chairman Eng. Mustafa Sanalla said: “The legitimate and rightful concerns of the Southern Libyan communities are being hijacked and abused by armed gangs, who instead of protecting the field to generate wealth for all Libyans, are actually enabling its exploitation and looting.”

“We are very concerned these attacks are not simple robberies but are part of a systematic attempt to destroy the Sharara system. We call on all Libyans to stand against criminal acts that have a lasting and damaging effect on our economy, and urge immediate security reforms,”  the chairman said.

Sanalla added: “Libya needs Sharara to be back to operations as soon as possible and for that, real protection of the field is critical. Criminals should not be able to hold the whole country to ransom.”

The incident comes after NOC registered two other security breaches – an attack by an armed group who physically assaulted a civil guard, and a theft by another criminal group, who forced their way into the field’s support facility to steal vital goods.