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Turkey Seeks to Control Oil, Gas Exploration in Libya

Turkey Seeks to Control Oil, Gas Exploration in Libya

Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 - 08:00
A view shows Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Company in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 16, 2017. (Reuters)
Ankara - Saeed Abdulrazek

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said Ankara was planning to cooperate with National Oil Corporation (NOC) and international firms in Libya in oil and gas exploration.

He told a local media outlet that despite the fact that Ankara and Tripoli have a cooperation agreement in energy sectors, the Libyan resources must first be used for the development of the country and the wellbeing of its citizens.

He mentioned a win-win situation policy to be adopted by Turkey with the Libyan oil companies operating in Libyan oilfields, adding that the "other side has been positive about this proposal".

On November 27, Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj, signed a MoU on their maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, sparking tensions with neighboring countries, especially Greece and Cyprus.

The Minister added that Ankara spends about USD40 billion a year on energy resources imports, saying the cost should be cut by local alternatives. Over the past year, he added, Turkey produced 62 percent of the total electric energy through local and renewable resources, while this figure increased further to 66 percent during the first five months of this year.

Donmez statements coincided with NOC’s expressing hopes that oil production will resume after international talks to end a blockade by eastern-based forces, which have halted energy exports for six months.

By eastern-based forces, the statement hinted at the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

Turkey backs the GNA that has seized Tripoli and its surrounding in the years-long civil war. It also supports its efforts to progress to the east towards Sirte to control oil facilities there.

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