The U.S. embassy in Libya has called for oil production in the country to resume, after forces of rebel leader Khalifa Haftar shut down several major oil fields and pipelines.
Haftar’s army halted most oil output ahead of Sunday’s international peace conference on Libya in Berlin. Libya’s National Oil Corporation said the halt will cost the country an estimated $55 million per day.
The U.S. embassy said Tuesday it is “deeply concerned” the shutdown will worsen Libya’s humanitarian emergency.
We are deeply concerned that the suspension of National Oil Corporation (NOC) operations risks exacerbating the humanitarian emergency in #Libya and inflicting further needless suffering on the Libyan people. NOC operations should resume immediately. https://t.co/NWvIdYADAq— U.S. Embassy - Libya (@USAEmbassyLibya) January 21, 2020
Oil prices fell Tuesday despite the loss of Libyan production.
Haftar’s forces are pushing toward the Libyan capital, Tripoli, home of the U.N.-backed international government.
Representatives of the two sides did not hold direct talks at the summit in Berlin. Other participants agreed to support a cease-fire and uphold a previously existing U.N. arms embargo in Libya.
However, Turkey has sent soldiers to support the Tripoli government, while Haftar has the backing of Russian mercenaries.