Rival leaders of Libya’s rival National Oil Corp agree to merge

The headquarters of National Oil Corporations (NOC) in Tripoli

The heads of the rival National Oil Corporations (NOC) in Libya have agreed to a unified structure with just one NOC. The move will be welcomed by the oil industry and could lead to a quick increase in production.

The rival oil officials agreed in principle to unify the oil sector in May, but the agreement on the structure and leadership of a joint group took weeks of meetings to iron out.

The agreement sees Mustafa Sanalla, who was chair of the Tripoli-based NOC remain as chair. The head of the eastern-based NOC Naji al-Malghrabi will serve as a board member of the new NOC.

[su_quote]”There is only one NOC, and it serves all Libyans. This agreement will send a very strong signal to the Libyan people and to the international community that the Presidency Council is able to deliver consensus and reconciliation. I’m sure it will now build on this success to bring unity and stability to other government institutions,” Sanalla said as quoted in the statement.[/su_quote]

On the other hand, Al-Maghrabi said both men “made a strategic choice to put our divisions behind us” as there is “no other way forward.”

The two also agreed on a budget for the remainder of the year, taking steps to “address any imbalances resulting from the period of division,” they said.

They also identified infrastructure rehabilitation as a big goal, particularly in the eastern city of Benghazi, “in preparation for the relocation of NOC’s headquarters.” NOC aims to hold meetings of its board of directors meetings in Benghazi “if security conditions permit.” The statement reads.

The joint NOC will also submit periodic reports to committees established by both the Presidential Council and the House of Representatives, which it recognized as the highest executive and legislative authorities within Libya.

Libya had an output capacity of about 1.5 million barrels per day before the 17 February Revolution, accounting for more than 95 percent of exports and 75 percent of the budget.

In May, NOC sources said that oil production had started to recover from the post-revolution slump to pass the 300,000 bpd mark.

Rebuilding the energy sector in Libya is a top priority of the new unity government.

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