Libya’s National Oil Cooperation (NOC) has recorded its highest annual oil trade revenues since 2013, peaking at $13.6 billion.
“Despite ongoing challenges in the sector, combined product portfolio revenues bear testament to NOC’s production performance in recent times, including a 2018 peak of 1.3 million barrels of oil in February,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said.
Libya witnessed disruption to oil ports earlier this year after Libyan General Khalifa Haftar’s forces moved to take control of several ports in the country’s oil crescent, cutting off exports of some 850,000 barrels a day, causing the price to rise to some $80 a barrel, and instead looking to export it through a breakaway company.
After international pressure, Haftar relented and handed over the management of the ports to the Libyan National Oil Corporation which subsequently resumed export operations.
“We continue to drive performance across our operations and fuel the Libyan economic recovery. NOC staff should feel very proud of this achievement,” Sanallah added.
The NOC forecast revenue to rise to $23.4 billion by the end of 2018 “if the corporation was able to continue doing its work without any impediments”.
Libya had a pre-civil war capacity to produce around 1.6 million barrels per day of oil, but its energy industry has suffered numerous disruptions in recent years due to blockades and fighting between militias.
However, the NOC clarified that it played no role in the distribution of government revenues to various industries, instead calling upon the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Libya to publish detailed approved budgetary arrangements and expenditure.
“I have repeatedly demanded the fair distribution of national oil revenues and called for transparency across government in this regard. This is one of the most important issues facing our country. We are publishing our year-to-date revenue figures in the spirit of transparency,” Sanallah said.
“Through these measures and this level of transparency, all Libyan citizens will have the ability to see how every dinar of their oil wealth is spent,” he concluded.
The NOC’s most recent figures were released amid news of a blackout across the west and south of Libya with energy grids across the country failing to provide electricity last night. The General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) cited the effect of violence in Tripoli on the power grid in the city, but the rest of the country have had daily power outages of up to 10 hours, amid the scorching summer heat.