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Eastern Libyan military forces claim control of El Feel oilfield

Eastern Libyan military forces claim control of El Feel oilfield
By Reuters
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BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Eastern-based Libyan military forces have taken control of the 70,000 barrel per day south-western El Feel oilfield, their spokesman said on Thursday.

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC), which operates the field in a joint venture with Italy's Eni, expressed concern.

"NOC is concerned about the developments near El Feel oilfield and is monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of its staff," an NOC representative said.

Forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar have waged an offensive in Libya's south since last month. Earlier in February they carried out air strikes near El Feel.

Forces loyal to Haftar Libyan National Army (LNA) posted a video purporting to show their vehicles driving into El Feel.

Their control over the field could not be independently verified.

The LNA also claimed control earlier this month of Sharara oilfield, Libya's largest, which has been closed since tribesmen and state guards seized it in December.

Eastern-based forces later said they had handed control of Sharara to the NOC, which has said it will assess security before reopening the field.

Over the past two days LNA forces have been battling for control of the southern city of Murzuq, close to Sharara.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli and Ulf Laessing; Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by David Evans)

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