Libya’s Ministry of Economy suspends 40 foreign companies, including France’s Total

The decree gave the 40 foreign companies three months to reapply for their licences.

Headquarters of Total in France. [Photo: Internet]
Libya’s Government of National Accord’s Minister of Economy has issued an order suspending the operations of 40 foreign companies including French oil multinational Total.

The move is thought to have been prompted by the reluctance by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to offer the Libyan prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, more explicit support when they met this week in Paris.

It is also seen as a clear indication that Libya’s Tripoli-based government is not on good understanding terms with France, as the latter is accused of backing up the offensive on Tripoli led by Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

Total is a major oil player in Libya, which pumps more than 1m barrels of oil a day and aims to have reached 2.1m barrels by 2023.

Minister of Economy Ali Abdulaziz Essawi said the foreign businesses’ licences had expired, according to a decree that was issued and published today.

The decree gave the 40 foreign companies three months to reapply for their licences.

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