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Libyan Oil Unity May Not Happen After All

Libya Es Sider

Last week the two administrations of Libya’s National Oil Company made a breakthrough, reaching an agreement to unify their oil operations for the greater good, but now the eastern government of the civil war-torn country has put a spoke in the wheels of unity.

The head of the Eastern government, Abdullah Al-Thanni, said on TV earlier this week that the eastern government will only agree to the unification if the company would give it 40 percent of all its revenues. The rest would go for southern and western Libya.

The demands did not end there. Al-Thanni also asked that the western government provide salaries and subsidies on fuel, food, power and medicines from its 60 percent share, rather than the 40 percent for the eastern government.

The leader of the East said his government will not be taking any “dictations” from the West and will not agree to anything that would compromise Eastern Libya’s “sovereignty”. The final demand of Al-Thanni was that the headquarters of the unified National Oil Company are in Benghazi.

This obstacle to the unification of the Libya’s oil company comes basically on the heels of a joint statement issued by the U.S. State Department and including the governments of the U.S., the UK, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy, who welcomed last week’s agreement. Related: Why An Oil Price Crash Remains Unlikely

Hopes were, after the agreement was announced, that the unification of the state oilfield operator will restore at least some of Libya’s pre-war production and increase exports.

Earlier today Bloomberg reported that shipments from Es Sider, Libya’s largest oil export terminal, are to resume within the week, according to a regional commander of the country’s Petroleum Facilities Guard. Ibrahim al-Jedran added that the third-largest oil port in the country will also be reopened – Ras Lanuf has been shut down for the last two years.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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