By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 28 October 2021:
Libya’s state National Oil Corporation said yesterday that the country’s oil sector is ‘‘grinding slower due to the deterioration of its infrastructure facilities and is losing 72 percent of its (daily) production capacity of Es-Sidra crude.’’
In this regard, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said “Today, the risks are increasing to a great extent, and we have lost approximately 208,000 barrels per day of Waha oil company’s current production, from the normal 285,000 barrels per day, and we expect the decline to continue for ten days, which will result in a total loss to public revenue of approximately 177 million dollars. This would bring the total loss since the beginning of the year to a billion dollars.’’
Sanalla added, “It became clear to us years ago, during our maintenance of leaks, that we need to allocate budgets urgently to rehabilitate our deteriorated infrastructure. We explained the situation to the successive governments as well as the Ministry of Oil and Gas and stated that, to maintain a level of output of 285,000 barrels per day or to add an estimated extra 40,000 barrels per day, to reach 325,000 barrels per day, then proposed budgets will have to be provided on their scheduled dates But despite the clarification of the situation in all its dimensions and its repercussions on production and revenues, we have yet to receive a single dirham”.
In a related context, Sanalla said, “The leakage is large in the 30-inch pipeline from Dahra to Es-Sidra (km point: 37 km), and the control room of the Waha Oil Company announced the discovery of a sudden drop in pressure, which means that the rupture is large, and therefore instructions were given to close the pipeline. So that we conduct the appropriate assessment and carry out emergency maintenance work”.
He added, “We are counting on the government to give us priority to rebuild/rehabilitate the dilapidated infrastructure and pay off our debts that have accumulated for years”.
“Reducing or postponing budgets has caused huge losses and preserving the country’s oil capabilities is an absolute priority. The delay in providing budgets has exacerbated the difficulties we are facing. The working teams of the operating companies are working day and night to limit the continuation of leaks, and on this occasion, I cannot fail to express my thanks and gratitude to the employees of Waha Oil Company as well as all employees in onshore and offshore oil fields as well as in oil ports.
Finally, despite all these challenges, the National Oil Corporation will continue to play its technical and non-political role tirelessly. We will continue to work as a team with all policy makers in the country and ask them to support the NOC, as we also call on the Government of National Unity to stand by the oil sector, which is bearing the brunt of worn out facilities.’’