UK voices concern over ongoing oil blockade in Libya

The British embassy in Libya on Saturday expressed concern about the ongoing oil blockade and foreign interference in Libyan oil fields.

“The oil blockade has cost Libya over 6 billion U.S. dollars since January, with negative economic consequences for the Libyan people. The blockade has also resulted in damage to Libya’s oil infrastructure,” the embassy said in a statement.

“As Libya’s main source of income, the energy sector is vital to Libya’s post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. It should not be used as a political bargaining chip,” the statement said.

It confirmed British support for the National Oil Corporation (NOC) of the UN-backed government as “Libya’s sole independent oil company with the stewardship of Libya’s oil.”

The statement called on all parties to constructively engage in the UN-led political dialogue, stressing that foreign interference only undermines these efforts.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry last week said that there are “mercenaries” allied with the rival eastern-based army shutting down oil exports inside oil fields and ports.

According to NOC, Libya has so far lost more than 6.4 billion dollars as a result of the ongoing oil blockade.