Libya’s state oil company said it may suspend exports from the Gulf of Sirte, which contains many of the OPEC member’s main ports, in the next three days amid a worsening political crisis.
The National Oil Corp. said it could declare force majeure, a clause in contracts allowing shipments to be halted, within 72 hours, according to a statement on Monday.
The Gulf of Sirte includes the export terminals of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Brega and Zueitina.
Libya’s crude production has roughly halved since mid-April to 600,000 barrels a day, according to Bloomberg estimates. That has further tightened a global oil market in which prices have surged 45% this year to around $110 a barrel, mostly due to the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The NOC’s move comes as Libya grapples with protests that are forcing many oil fields and ports to shut down.
No individual or minister should be allowed to use the oil sector as a bargaining chip, NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.
“The situation is quite dangerous. There are closures in the Sirte region and there are people who try to demonize the oil sector.” Mustafa Sanalla.