An oil rig is shown in this file photo.
TRIPOLI - UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Monday welcomed the decision of Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) to lift the state of force majeure in Sharara oil field, the largest in the country. 

"UNSMIL welcomes the NOC's decision to lift the force majeure and the immediate return of production in Sharara oil field, emphasizing the need for protection of national facilities and ensuring a safe environment for all staff for the benefit of Libyan people," the mission said. 

The corporation decided to lift the state of force majeure in the field after the eastern-based army controlling the field pledged to expel gunmen from the field and implement additional security measures, NOC said. 

"Never again should an armed group be allowed to threaten NOC workers and hold the country to ransom. A safe and secure working environment is imperative to allow the oil to flow for the benefit of all Libyans," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said. NOC also confirmed resuming production in the field, as well as carrying out maintenance to the field. 

In December last year, the NOC declared force majeure in Sharara oil field, following forced closure of the field by an armed group. The eastern-based Libyan army announced earlier in February taking over the oil field, which is located some 900 km south of the capital Tripoli and has the capability of producing over 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily.