Presidency Council strips oil ministry of powers

By Libya Herald reporters.

T

Tunis, 26 March 2017:  

The oil ministry in Tripoli has been rendered largely redundant by a Presidency Council (PC) decree that shares out the majority of its powers between the itself and the National Oil Corporation (NOC)

The PC has arrogated to itself the responsibility to supervise and exploit the country’s oil wealth, sign off on all projects aimed to boost production as well as approving exploration-production sharing agreements (EPSAs). It will also decide on NOC recommendations as to when production franchises should be abandoned.

The PC further says it will have control of the pricing of oil and gas and derivatives and will oversee the security and protection of oil resources. It will also control private investment in the the sector and will continue to approve NOC’s budget and its final accounts.

Under the new PC arrangements NOC’s powers include proposing operational plans and “controlling the production amount and export processes”.

The decree also gives NOC the seemingly trifling power to organise Libya’s participation in conference and forums and to ”attend meetings related to Arab and international organisations in consultation with the Prime Minister.”

The PC also assured NOC staff that their employment terms will be unchanged with the removal of the oil ministry’s role in the corporation.

This is the culmination of a view from Faiez Serraj and the PC that the oil ministry was largely redundant. In the last cabinet they proposed to the House of Representatives, no one had been chosen to run the ministry. It also fits in with a long-standing view by the NOC that the oil ministry was an unnecessary tier of officialdom between the government and itself.

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