NOC to lift force majeure at El Sharara oil field in exchange for workers’ security
On 11 February, Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff Abdurrazak al-Nathouri announced that dialogue was under way between the LNA and the 30th Brigade regarding the latter’s requirements to provide effective security in order to lift force majeure on the El Sharara oil field. The 30th Brigade is the Tuareg Petroleum Facilities Guard unit which currently guards Sharara and is aligned with Ali Kanna. Nathouri also said that the LNA had no intention of moving on al-Feel as the field is operating without security issues at present.
The security situation in the South is likely to remain extremely volatile in the short term. The positive implications of the LNA apparently taking control of Sharara could be a more secure and stable base for the restart of production from Sharara field, particularly given the LNA has stated it intends to allow the NOC to export the crude. However, this will depend on whether the NOC agrees to restart the field. Sanallah has already reiterated his stance this week that production will not restart until staff safety can be guaranteed. The negative implications are that with LNA units and nominally LNA-aligned local forces at Sharara, the oilfield will become a target for local forces who oppose the LNA’s presence in the region, destabilising the oilfield further and potentially putting infrastructure at risk.