Libya warns companies not to buy oil from militias holding terminals

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Libya's government is warning oil companies not to buy from export terminals seized by militias in the east of the country.

In a strongly worded statement Wednesday, the government said such dealings were a "blatant violation" of Libyan sovereignty and a "crime" punishable by law.

It said that it had a list of companies who it claimed were "trying" to buy oil and that they are under surveillance.

Air and naval forces were ordered to "confront any vessels (violating the order) with force, arrest and detention," the statement said.

Militias with a range of demands took over the terminals this summer. Libya's oil production sharply declined from 1.4 million barrels a day to few hundred thousand barrels a day.