10 April 2014, News Wires – Rebels in eastern Libya handed over Herega oil port to the Libyan government on Wednesday, marking a start of the deal to end the nine-month long oil siege in the North African country.
A delegation representing rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran signed the agreement on transferring Herega to the interim government and promised they will not block it again in the future, an official at the port said.
The handover symbolically marked the start of the deal signed with the rebels who agreed to gradually open oil-ports, including Harega, Zueitina, Sidrah, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider.
The oil-ports have been seized by local militias since June 2013, which has cut Libya off its main source of income. The suspension of oil exports has caused a sharp decline in oil production to 250,000 barrels per day compared with 1.5 million barrels per day before the shutdown.
Port officials said Herega is now opened for the National Oil Corporation and Arabian Gulf Oil Company, adding that “the logistic preparations to resume exports have been finalized two days earlier, and it now only waits NOC’s notice.”