Tripoli’s NOC Chairman says US and allies will block illegal selling of Libya’s oil
The chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation in Tripoli said he’s confident that the U.S. and other world powers would help block authorities in eastern Libya from exporting any crude after militia captured key ports there, reported Bloomberg.
“We are confident the international legal regime will hold and NOC East will not be able to export,” Mustafa Sanallah said in a phone interview. “Only NOC can sell Libyan oil on global markets,” and support from international powers including the U.S. “underscores our position,” he said.
“Companies entering into illegal contracts with parallel institutions will be pursued by all legal options, including UN sanctions,” Sanallah said, according to Bloomberg.
Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, but seven years of conflict among armed groups competing for influence over its energy riches have hobbled production and exports.
Recent clashes cost the country about 450,000 barrels of daily output, taking more oil off the market just days after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal with allied suppliers to increase production.
Sanallah urged Haftar’s forces to “come to their senses and return operational control” of the ports and oil fields to the Tripoli-based NOC. The transfers of control of eastern oil facilities to the parallel NOC in Benghazi “only harm the long-term prospects of the Libyan oil sector, reducing investor and partner confidence,” Sanalla said, Bloomberg added.
He made his remarks hours before the start of the “1st Libyan-European Oil & Gas Summit” in Vienna. The NOC in Tripoli remains committed to its customers despite major challenges, Sanalla told the conference by video.