By Sami Zaptia.
London, 21 August 2020:
Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) today welcomed the call for the resumption of oil production and exports by the head of Libya’s eastern-based parliament (House of Representatives), Ageela Saleh.
It welcomes the holding of oil revenues in a special account while the conflicting political forces reach a political solution and welcomes increased transparency of how this money is to be spent.
However, the NOC insisted that the management of the security of the eastern oilfields, currently under Khalifa Hafter-aligned local forces and foreign troops/mercenaries, be returned to the NOC.
It promised to provide fuel to power eastern-based power stations, which many critics say is the factor that may have forced the hand of the Hafter-Saleh camp to yield and allow some oil exports to resume.
The NOC also also made it clear that it was not prepared to lift force majeure and resume actual oil exports – until all military forces vacated the eastern oilfields.
Here is the full NOC statement:
‘‘The National Oil Corporation (NOC) welcomes the statement of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Presidency Council supporting NOC’s proposal to resume production and export of oil and to freeze sales revenues in NOC accounts in the Libyan Foreign Bank. Revenues should remain frozen until a comprehensive political agreement is reached in line with the recommendations of the Berlin Process.
Full transparency and effective governance are required as well as the return of security management of oil facilities to NOC’s exclusive control.
Regarding continued supply of gas to the Zueitina and North Benghazi power plants, NOC is currently making all possible efforts to provide a ship to empty condensate tanks. This should allow gas production to continue. All gas production is currently due to cease tomorrow evening, Saturday 22 August 2020, NOC sent a shipment of diesel to Benghazi on Wednesday August 19, 2020, to help meet the needs of the city’s power stations as far as is possible under current circumstances, despite the severe shortage of fuel allocations and the huge debts that have accumulated as a result of the closure of the fields producing gas and oil and the suspension of refineries.
NOC reiterates its call for all oil facilities to be freed from military occupation to ensure the security and safety of its workers. Once this has been done, NOC should be able to lift force majeure and re-commence oil export operations.
NOC expresses its gratitude to all the local and international actors, including UNSMIL and the US Government, who have helped achieve progress to date. NOC continues to work tirelessly in the interests of all Libyans.
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, the Hafter-aligned eastern-based Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) announced that it would allow the resumption of stored oil and gas.
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