Libya says oil blockade causes losses of 3.9 bln USD

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-03 10:06:46|Editor: zyl
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TRIPOLI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Thursday that the shutdown of oil exports in the country's eastern regions has caused losses of nearly 3.9 billion U.S. dollars so far.

"The forced and illegal restriction of production has resulted in financial losses exceeding 3,893,213,466 USD since January 17, 2020. This means the Libyan economy and financial reserves are getting weaker every day due to the blockade. Total oil production inside Libya is down to 92,731 barrels a day, as of April 1, 2020," the state oil company said in a statement.

Libya's oil production was estimated at 1.3 million barrels a day before the shutdown.

Tribal leaders in eastern Libya controlled by commander Khalifa Haftar closed oil ports and fields in January, accusing the UN-backed government of using oil revenues to support armed groups against the eastern-based army.

Haftar has been leading a one-year-long military campaign to take the North African country's capital Tripoli, where the internationally recognized government is based.

"NOC calls on all parties within Libya to lift the blockade and re-start oil and gas production, so every Libyan can benefit from a stronger economy and a more steady supply of fuels," the statement said.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya has called on Libyan parties to stop all hostilities and focus on fighting the novel coronavirus.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday that Libya is at a high risk for the spread of COVID-19 after eight cases were confirmed in the conflict-hit nation.