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Libya's NOC warns of shutdown to Wafa oil, gas field after airport closure

London — Libya's National Oil Corporation said Thursday it could be forced to shut in Wafa oil and gas field in southwestern Libya later Thursday due to the closure of an airport needed to supply the field.

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Libyan state guards closed the airport at Wafa oilfield earlier this week, state oil company NOC said Thursday, "with the aim of extorting" the Mellitah Oil and Gas Company which operates the field.

Wafa currently produces 40,000 b/d of crude and condensates as well as 400 million cf/d, NOC said. If the field is shut, gas supplies from Wafa to the Ruwais power station will be suspended, it said.

"The NOC condemns this criminal and irresponsible act that will negatively impact the local economy and Libyan citizens' livelihood," NOC said in a statement adding that a shutdown will lead to power outages in the western mountain region.

Eni could not be immediately reached for comment.

The field is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas Company, a joint venture between NOC and Italy's Eni. Wafa field condensate is blended with the output from El Feel field to produce the Mellitah export blend with an API gravity of 41.6 degrees.

--Robert Perkins, robert.perkins@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@spglobal.com