By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis 22 March 2016:
Salaries are going unpaid because National Oil Corporation (NOC) is not getting the $2.5 billion allocated it by the Presidency Council, Mustafa Sanalla the oil company’s chief complained today.
The Ministry of Finance was not only delaying salary payments, he said, but also failing to produce funds for projects which are considered essential to boosting production by maintaining and repairing oil fields and ports that have been damaged in fighting.
It seems clear from this that Sanalla has not yet achieved the financial independence he wants by being given control over a proportion of oil revenues. NOC is still having to go cap in hand to the finance ministry, even for salaries, as in the days of Qaddafi.
The good news however was that Sanalla said output had recovered rapidly after the interruption from the Benghazi Defence Brigades attack on the Sidra and Ras Lanuf terminals earlier this month.
“Our production today is 700,000 bpd and we work hard in order to reach 800,000 bpd before the end of April,” he said in a statement, “We will, God willing, reach 1.1 million barrels/day next August.”
“We are doing our best to increase production despite all the obstacles and circumstances that face us and despite all those who try to obstruct production or decrease it in addition to spreading rumours and lies that affect NOC’s work” he said, “By doing so, they want to destroy what is left from the Libyan economy and hold it a hostage to aids and international loans.”
One lie he may have had in mind was the surprise news this morning of his resignation. What was said to be a letter in which he announced he was quitting was presented in the House of Representatives in Tobruk. The circumstances are unclear, but one report says that Sanalla’s rival, the chairman of eastern NOC Nagi Maghrabi was present when the letter was delivered.
The news is likely to have brought anxious calls from international oil traders but it quickly emerged that the letter was a fake.