Three European countries and the United States announced on Thursday that they welcomed the resumption of oil production by the Libyan National Oil Corporation.
In a joint statement released by the US State Department, the Governments of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, recalling their statement of June 27th 2018, welcomed the announcement that Libya’s National Oil Corporation is resuming its vital work on behalf of all Libyans.
“We commend the legitimate National Oil Corporation as it repairs infrastructure, honors its contractual obligations, and, having lifted the state of emergency provisions in eastern Libya, restores oil exports and production critical to Libya’s prosperity,” the statement said.
The four countries praised Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) saying that they appreciate the LNA’s contributions to restore stability in Libya’s oil sector. At the same time, they urged the National Oil Corporation to be allowed to work on behalf of all Libyans, and that Libya’s oil resources remain under the exclusive control of the legitimate National Oil Corporation and the sole oversight of the Government of National Accord.
Earlier, Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan National Army commander, ordered the resumption of oil exports after the liberation of the oil ports from terrorist militias. Libya's Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced later the re-opening of four oil terminals and that they were resuming production and export operations after General Haftar agreed to hand over control of the ports of Ras Lanuf, Es Sider, Zueitina, and Hariga.
The statement also called on Libya’s leaders to seize the opportunity to resolve differences over the Central Bank of Libya, enhance dialogue on the distribution of resources through the national budget, and work toward the unification of the Central Bank of Libya and the dissolution of parallel institutions, as agreed in the May 29th Political Declaration in Paris.
The struggle between the rival governments led to a collapse in the country's oil production, slashing output by as much as 850,000 barrels a day and costing the economy an estimated $1bn.