The National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya has reported the suspension of production at a major oil field in the southwestern region due to protests that have disrupted operations. The NOC has declared a state of force majeure for the al-Charara field, effective from January 7, 2024, citing the closure by protestors in a press statement.
In exceptional circumstances, the invocation of “force majeure” allows the NOC to be exempted from liability in the event of non-compliance with oil delivery contracts. The NOC did not specify the demands of the protestors.
Located approximately 900 km south of Tripoli, al-Charara typically produces 315,000 barrels per day, contributing to a national production of over 1.2 million barrels per day, down from 1.5 to 1.6 million before the 2011 Revolution.
As the primary supplier to the Zaouia refinery in the west, which in turn supplies the local fuel market, al-Charara is managed by Akakus, a joint venture involving the NOC, Spanish Repsol, French Total, Austrian OMV, and Norwegian Statoil.
Since the fall and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya, with Africa’s richest oil reserves, has struggled to emerge from over a decade of chaos and division, featuring two rival governments vying for power. Oil sites and terminal blockades have been frequent in recent years, linked either to social demands, security threats, or political disputes, resulting in a loss of hundreds of billions of dollars, according to the Central Bank of Libya, a country heavily reliant on oil revenues.