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Libyan Oil Subject to Bargaining, NOC Seeks US Support

Libyan Oil Subject to Bargaining, NOC Seeks US Support

Friday, 17 November, 2017 - 11:30
An oil pier at Benghazi port, Libya. Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters

Libyan analysts linked continuity in exporting oil to the security stability of Libya.

Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah expressed determination to open a procurement office in the US in order to expand circle of suppliers and persuade US President Donald Trump to support the oil sector in Libya.

Meanwhile, oilfields are being held hostages by citizens to fulfill some demands. But Sanallah movements raised inquiries in Libya on the mechanisms adopted by NOC chairman, especially amidst the absence of control over Libyan territory and the nature of those who decided to lay on US for support.

Sanallah clarified to Reuters that “It is very important to us.” The procurement office “will be fully functional in January,” he added.

Fauzi Tahir Nouwairy, member of Libyan parliament, stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that the security chaos in Libya is the first obstacle hindering continuity of extracting oil. “This obstacle should be solved firs before signing any agreements,” he added.

“This state caused smuggling fuels worth million of dollars per month through the Libyan seashores… The defect of successive governments pushed citizens to shut oilfields. This step reoccurred several times and we don’t approve it because oil is a wealth for everyone,” Nouwairy continued.

Sanallah failed in convincing Jikharra to permit Wintershall to resume production in one of its oilfields in the region, knowing that the company had to suspend production in the beginning of November in response to residents’ pressure.

Wintershall has 60 oil wells inside the residential and agricultural regions in Jikharra, in participation with NOC.

Libyan political analyst Mohammad al-Aqilah al-Amami declared to Asharq Al-Awsat that opening a procurment office in US is a “crucial decision and we hadn’t heard of it before the National Accord Government.”

He added, “This decision might be a personal one taken by Sanallah. In this case it will face several obstacles because there are two rivaling governments in the country.”

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