BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:20 P.M.) – An unknown group, led by someone claiming to be Brigadier General Mohammad Khalifa, has captured a key oil field in southern Libya this week.

According to the Libyan National Oil Corporation, the unknown group captured the El-Sharara Oil Field after storming the facility on Tuesday.

“[Armed men] asked the field manager to stop maintenance operations, unconcerned with the dire consequences act for the facility’s equipment, which may cost the Libyan state and its partners money, time, and efforts, as well as to thwart the efforts to restore oil extraction to earlier levels”, the statement said.

The Libyan National Oil Corporation told its employees at the El-Sharara Oil Field to not follow the orders of the armed men, pointing out that they will contact the Office of the Attorney General, Interpol, and the UN of the situation, requesting assistance.

The oil field has been under the control of the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar since February 2019 but started to resume its operations only days ago.

The facility faced technical difficulties in restarting operations due to a long pause in its usage and decided to run maintenance to root the problems out.

The NOC planned that in three months the El Sharara oil field, the biggest in the country, would be producing 30,000 barrels per day.

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