Libya loses $2bn over oil production shutdown, export blockade

TRIPOLI Libya's revenues are bleeding from a protracted blockade on oil exports.

The National Oil Corporation said losses from the shutdown of major oil fields and terminals had surpassed $2bn on Tuesday.

Oil production became the latest victim of a bitter conflict between two rival governments, when forces loyal to the rebel administration of Khalifa Haftar seized major oil ports and shut the flow of crude in January.

Production has dropped from 1.2 million barrels a day before January to about 120,000 this week, the corporation said in a statement.

The standoff over Libya's main source of income has threatened to cripple the already battered economy and deprive the country of fuel supplies.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the forces of the UN-backed Libyan government said that they killed more than 20 soldiers of the rival east-based army in Aziziya city, some 30 km south of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Our forces spotted nearly 70 military vehicles of the invading gangs (eastern-based army) trying to sneak into Aziziya city, Mohamed Gonono said in a statement late Sunday.

Our ground troops waged a wide attack and captured a number of the invading gangs, killing 8 of them and destroying 6 of their military vehicles, the statement said.

Another 15 soldiers of the army were killed by government forces near Aziziya city, the statement added.

On Saturday, the east-based army launched an extensive attack on government forces in Aziziya.

The army has been leading a military campaign since April 2019 in and around Tripoli, attempting to take over the city and topple the UN-backed government.

The rivals agreed to cease-fire on January 12. However, they have accused the other of breaching the truce.