Libya’s production halt

The Story 
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has suspended production at a major oil field in the country as it declared a “force majeure. 

What happened?
The corporation said the suspension is due to the entry of a group of individuals [protesters] into the oil field and the prevention of the field’s workers from continuing production. The affected Al-Fil oil field, with daily production of about 70,000 barrels of oil, is jointly managed by the NOC and Italian energy giant ENI. 

Are the protesters still there? 
Libya’s state news agency reports that the protesters declared that they were halting production in the oil field “until a government-appointed by parliament takes office in the capital”, leaving the oil corporation with no choice but to declare a force majeure, a legal instrument that allows parties to free themselves from contractual obligations when factors beyond their control – such as violence or natural disasters – make meeting those obligations impossible. 

Isn’t there a government in Libya? 
Libya has two rival governments, after the eastern-based parliament in February appointed a new Prime Minister in a direct challenge to the UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli. Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who is based in the capital, Tripoli, has refused to step down as interim prime minister and insists he will hand over power only to an elected government. 

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