Oil minister Oun accuses international oil companies of exploiting Libya's political instability to improve contract terms

Alwasat Staff Fri 24 Nov 2023, 08:57 PM
alwasat radio

The Minister of Oil and Gas for Libya's Government of National Unity, Mohamed Oun, accused international oil companies operating in Libya of exploiting the country's political instability to delay their development plans.

In an interview with Standard & Poor's Platts, he said: "Most of the international oil companies have committed to specific projects, and so far unfortunately they have not acted as they should."

Earlier this year, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) issued a statement saying that major oil companies, including the UK's BP and Italy's Eni, had lifted the declared force majeure status on their operations in Libya and effectively returned to the country.

The NOC said at the time that international companies had notified it of their intentions to resume its contractual obligations with the Libyan state, but Oun accuses the companies themselves of trying to exploit Libya's security problems to negotiate better contractual terms, and said that they are in no hurry to resume oil and gas production.

A licensing round will be held in 2024 and should help Libya move closer to its target of producing 2 million barrels per day of oil by 2026.

According to the African Energy Chamber, Libya has a maximum production capacity of 1.8 million barrels per day by 2024, but Tripoli insists it can increase production to three million barrels per day in two to three years.

Libya currently produces about 1.24 million barrels per day, according to the NOC.

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