March 6, 2019 / 11:24 PM / 3 months ago

Libya's NOC, oil majors set up $20 mln fund to support local near oilfield

TUNIS, March 6 (Reuters) - Libyan state oil firm NOC and its foreign partners operating the El Sharara oilfield will launch a development fund worth $20 million to support local communities, NOC said on Wednesday.

The 315,000-barrels-a-day field got reopened on Monday after tribesmen and state guards asking for payments and development funds had seized it in December, forcing a closure.

The agreement signed by NOC, Spain’s Repsol, Austria’s OMV, France’s Total and Norway’s Equinor will set up a fund to “support a series of sustainable development projects,” NOC said in a statement.

Projects include water management and youth assistance.

The field has been repeatedly closed by locals and guards demanding payments. Southern Libya is less developed than the rest of the country with state services often absent.

NOC had said before the field’s reopening that no armed group responsible for the most recent closure should be paid off to open the field. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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