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National Oil Corporation suspends operations at Ras Lanuf Port

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National Oil Corporation suspends operations at Ras Lanuf Port

19 September- Over the weekend, fighting resumed for control of key ports in Libya’s oil crescent. Libyan officials delayed a shipment of petroleum at the newly reopened ports.

Last week, forces from Libyan National Army, loyal to the Eastern government, captured Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports from the Petroleum Facilities Guard. The PFG briefly regained control of the ports, but were forced out again amid renewed fighting. After clashes on Sunday, the ports are back in the control of the PFG.

The NOC suspended operations at Ras Lanuf port as a tanker was loading a shipment of oil to be transported to Italy. The tanker would have been the first to ship from the port since 2014, but withdrew to a safe distance from the port.

Ras Lanuf port itself has not been affected by the fighting so far, but a previously damaged oil storage tank at nearby Es Sider port was set on fire. Firefighting teams were expected to control the blaze rapidly.

THE SITUATION IN LIBYA REMAINS EXTREMELY FLUID. Control of key facilities in Libya have, and could again, change hands with little or no notice. The Eastern government, supported by recently promoted Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the LNA, does not acknowledge the legitimacy of the UN- backed government. The situation between the opposing factions remains extremely unstable. As a result, ports, infrastructure, and other valuable assets remain at a high risk for violent attack by opposing groups.

MS Risk continues to advise extreme caution to all vessels entering Libyan waters. Ship-owners and masters should correspond with local agents and stay abreast of the most recent information available.