UNSMIL Welcomes the Opening of Sharara and El Feel oil fields and Calls for a Full Lifting of the Oil Blockade
TRIPOLI, 08 June 2020 – The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomes the opening of the Sharara and El Feel oil fields this weekend. The oil blockade has needlessly cost the Libyan people over $5 billion due to lost oil sales as well as millions of dollars of indirect losses due to the shutdown of domestic refineries and damage caused by the oil infrastructure remaining idle. The blockade should be fully lifted across the country. Oil and other natural resources should not in any way, shape or form be instrumentalized as part of the conflict.
As fighting escalates and encompasses more areas, UNSMIL calls on all parties to avoid damaging oil infrastructure or impeding National Oil Corporation (NOC) staff from conducting their official duties. The NOC is Libya's sole and legitimate oil company. Libya’s natural resources belong to all Libyans and their exploitation is vital to maintain the country's economy, particularly given the need to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNSMIL continues to work, including through the Economic Track of the Berlin process, to promote accountability, transparency, and effectiveness in the management of Libya's economic and financial system and the equitable distribution of national revenue.