TRIPOLI – Rebels in eastern Libya handed over Herega oil port to the Libyan government on Wednesday, marking a start of a deal to end the nine-month-long oil siege in the North African country.
A delegation representing rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran signed the agreement transferring Herega to the interim government and promised not to block it again in future, an official said.
The hand over symbolically marked the start of a deal signed with the rebels who agreed to gradually open oil-ports, including Harega, Zueitina, Sidrah, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider.
The oil-ports were seized by local militias in 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 open for the National Oil Corporation and Arabian Gulf Oil Company, adding that “the logistic preparations to resume exports was finalis