President Donald Trump spoke with Libyan general Khalifa Haftar Monday, praising his role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s vast oil resources even as Haftar’s troops continue their offensive against the UN and US-backed government in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
In the short term, Haftar’s offensive has actually improved Libya’s oil production, now running at about 1mn bl/d. Sharara had been closed since December after the militia paid to guard it took control, demanding a massive pay rise. When Haftar’s forces captured Sharara they allowed the militia to stay, provided it removed key leaders and dropped excessive pay demands. In early March the NOC reopened the field.
Armed protesters had closed down the 300,000 barrel-per-day deposit in December, demanding more money and investment in the remote region.
“Sharara is completely secure and ready to resume pumping,” LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “The guards at the field handed over the field to our forces peacefully.”