Libya’s 2020 budget rubber stamped by Serraj government, oil exports still shut down as NOC announces US$ 3.4 bn losses
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 17 March 2020:
The internationally recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli and led by Faiez Serraj rubber stamped the 2020 state budget that was agreed on 3 March.
The LD 38.5 bn budget had been agreed at a meeting in the Tripoli Central Bank of Libya (CBL) that had included Prime Minister Faiez Serraj, the Tripoli CBL Governor, the head of the High State Council, the head of the Audit Bureau, the head of the breakaway western Libya based House of Representatives and the Commander of the Joint Operations Room of the Tripoli-based Libyan Army.
The meeting addressed the financial requirements for Libya’s ‘’current reality’’ considering the forced closure of Libya’s oil fields and ports.
It will be recalled that Libya’s oil production and export facilities had been closed since 17 January in the lead up to the Berlin Libya conference
The NOC had attributed the closures to the pro Khalifa Hafter forces guarding the oilfields and ports.
Yesterday, the NOC announced that the oil shut down had lost Libya US$ 3.36 bn worth of revenues since 17 January. Current levels of production are at 91,108 barrels a day, as of Sunday March 15, 2020.
The NOC said it was concerned about a likely fuel shortage in the near future after the forced reduction of local production, the Zawiya refinery shut down and the lack of government funding to import sufficient fuel to serve the basic needs of Libyans. All this is a result of the illegal blockade of oil facilities, it added.
It called on those responsible for the closure (Khalifa Hafter and his allied tribes) to immediately lift the imposed blockade and spare oil sector workers and Libyan citizens from more suffering. The NOC also called on the rest of Libya’s state bodies to maintain remaining financial reserves and reduce their expenses.
Despite the political split between western and eastern Libya, the NOC said that it had sent a petrol tanker which had discharged at Benghazi port on Sunday 15 March 2020 while another petrol tanker is expected to arrive at the port yesterday. The city of Tobruk and the rest of the Eastern region are being supplied directly from Benghazi, it explained.
Tripoli storage depots and some of the surrounding areas and Southern regions are suffering from a lack of supplies due to the deteriorating security conditions. The city of Tripoli is supplied with hydrocarbons directly from the Tripoli port, the NOC reported.