Extremist attacks threaten oil production in Libya

Libyan officials say ISIS extremists have killed at least three troops in an attack on a checkpoint in the desert town of Zallah.
Saturday 18/05/2019
Mustafa Sanallah, chairman of Libya's National Oil corporation (NOC), speaks during the 2018 edition of the Benghazi International Forum and Exhibition of Oil & Gas, in the eastern Libyan city on October 24, 2018. (AFP)
Mustafa Sanallah, chairman of Libya's National Oil corporation (NOC), speaks during the 2018 edition of the Benghazi International Forum and Exhibition of Oil & Gas, in the eastern Libyan city on October 24, 2018. (AFP)

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) chief said on Saturday continued instability in Libya could make it lose 95% of its oil production.

"Unfortunately if the situation will continue like this I'm afraid that maybe 95% of production will be lost," Mustafa Sanalla told reporters in Jeddah ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday of top OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

Sanalla mentioned the attack claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) near the Zallah oilfield earlier on Saturday.

Libyan officials say ISIS extremists have killed at least three troops in an attack on a checkpoint in the desert town.

A statement by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar said the militants captured four soldiers in the attack at the town of Zallah Saturday, but troops were able to free three of them.

ISIS claimed the attack.

The extremist group had tried to expand its reach in Libya after the country was plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed former strongman Muammar Qaddafi.

Zallah is about 750 kilometres (466 miles) southeast of the capital, Tripoli, where Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter's LNA forces who have cleared much of the south of extremist strongholds and are currently fighting to take control of the capital from militias and extremist groups affiliated with the Tripoli-based government of Fayez Sarraj.

(Arab Weekly staff and news agencies)