UN official calls for stopping the blockade of oil

On Monday, the UN’s top official for Libya demanded that the production blockade at two oil fields, including the country’s largest, be lifted, as the price of oil soared to more than $ 130 per barrel.

Stephanie Williams, the UN’s special adviser to Libya, said that blocking oil production from the Sharara and el-Feel fields “deprives all Libyans of their great source of income.”

“The oil blockade should be lifted,” she said on Twitter.

The closures have caused Libya’s daily oil production to fall by 330,000 barrels, according to the state-run National Oil Corporation.

Prior to the closure, Libya’s oil production was about 1.2 billion barrels per day (bpd). The North African nation has the ninth largest known oil reserves in the world and the largest oil reserves in Africa.

The closure cost Libya more than $ 34.6 million a day in lost revenue, the NOC said.

The company’s manager Mustafa Sanallah blamed the shutdown on an armed group, led by Mohamed Bashir al-Garg, in the mountainous city of Zintan, about 136 kilometers (over 84 miles) southwest of the capital Tripoli.

Al-Garg, who also leads a force guarding oil facilities in the area, said the closures were due to “horrific living conditions” and demanded that authorities provide services to people in the region, according to local media.

The shutdown came when Brent crude, the international pricing standard, reached $ 139.13 a barrel before falling back on Monday to trade at $ 130.29 a barrel.

The growing rise in oil prices is a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which sent shock waves to world markets.

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