Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has expressed deep concerns about the continuing militarization of its oil facilities and the heavy presence of foreign mercenaries at various oil fields and ports in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
A statement issued by NOC noted that the number of mercenaries at the Ras Lanuf petrochemical complex has recently increased.
Their presence constitutes a threat to the safety of workers and industrial facilities within the complex. There are also a large number of military personnel billeted in worker housing inside the residential area of Ras Lanuf town, in a flagrant violation of the law, privacy and security of worker housing.
In another blatant violation of the law, on July 26 the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) forcibly seized large quantities of jet fuel from fuel storage tanks at 103 Field airstrip belonging to Zueitina Oil Company. The fuel was then taken offsite in two fully laden trucks.
Further, on July 25 a military aircraft landed at Zueitina port with uniformed personnel onboard, who inspected the runway in preparation for military use. Afterwards, foreign mercenaries entered and occupied the worker housing at Zueitina port.
NOC has also received reports of large numbers of mercenaries with military vehicles occupying the residential area of the Zallah oil field. Another group is occupying a Schlumberger Company camp located close to the field.
To protect Libyan oil facilities, NOC continues to monitor the situation closely. Illegal activities taking place in and around NOC facilities are being documented. NOC stated it “will not hesitate to seek prosecution for those who damage Libya’s sole source of revenue.”
NOC reiterated its calls for the withdrawal of mercenaries and the demilitarization of oil facilities so that its workers can carry out their work without putting their lives in danger. “Their safety as well as the security of oil facilities must remain paramount,” NOC said.