Militias this week shut in Libya’s key Sharara oilfield, taking with it nearby El Feel. As NOC started to aim for the sky, events outside its control brought it back down.

On 9 December Libya’s largest oilfield, El Sharara, was forcibly shut-down by a local group called the Fezzan Anger Movement, supported by the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) purportedly there to ensure the security of the facilities.

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) said the shutdown at Repsol-operated El...