By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 4 March 2017:
NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla has sought to slap down any idea that Khalifa Ghwell and his resurrected National Salvation Government represent the views of the state oil company.
He described as a “cheap trick” an incident yesterday when Ghwell supporters broke into the NOC’s Tripoli HQ and made a broadcast asserting that the oil company was answerable to the NSG. Few other details of the incident have emerged.
Sanalla said that in line with the Libyan Political Agreement, the NOC recognised the House of Representatives as Libya’s legislative authority and the Government of National Accord as its executive.
“The people who made these broadcasts gained access to our premises by force,” said Sanalla. “I strongly condemn cheap tricks like this that try to drag NOC into politics.”
Ghwell’s supporters seemed to have timed their operation to coincide with the assault by the Benghazi Defence Brigade on the Sidra and Ras Lanuf export terminals in the oil crescent.
Today Sanalla said the the country’s oil infrastructure could not be used as a bargaining chip and fighting should avoid it.
“The NOC has always stood for the unity of the country, and we will continue to do so,” said Sanalla. “Our objective is to maximise production and oil revenues and we made good progress in the last few months in recovering production levels and increasing exports, which are national priorities.
“We are against any actions that could damage the oil infrastructure in the country including oil fields, pipelines, ports, plants and other petroleum facilities. We need to take concrete steps to prevent our oil valuable assets being damaged. Above all, the NOC and the oil sector should not be a bargaining chip in the political conflict.”