Egypt’s General Petroleum Corporation and energy sector construction company Petrojet plan to re-establish their presence in Libya, a Libyan official said yesterday, after a meeting with company representatives that also included the chair of Libya’s National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanalla.
NOC and EGPC also agreed to form a partnership to study possible oil and gas projects, although no further details were provided.
This is the first Egyptian visit to Libya in the last two years. The country imports crude and fuels from Libya, and at the meeting, whose principal host was the deputy leader of the Presidential Council Ahmed Maetig, Egypt asked for an increase in monthly shipments to 2 million barrels of crude and fuels. Apparently, the Libyan side could not supply that, so the final agreement will see Egypt import one million barrels of fuels per month from Libya.
The meeting comes a few days after the Foreign Minister-designate of the UN-backed Government of National Accord accused Egypt of “working against its interests in Libya.” The remark came after an argument between the Presidential Council delegation and the Egyptian delegation at the Arab Summit.
The argument concerned how NOC is referred to in the Arab version of an official statement of the event. While the GNA delegation insisted that the company’s full name included Tripoli, where the GNA is based, the Egyptians rejected the idea, suggesting they don’t share the belief that the Tripoli-based division of the oil company is the only legitimate one.
NOC split along political lines years ago, with the Tripoli-based division backing the UN-supported GNA and the eastern division affiliating itself with the House of Representatives, Libya’s parliament and rival government.
Last year, the two divisions agreed to unite in the common interest, but the unification process was recently rattled as one eastern NOC representative left the negotiations table, sparking doubts about another split.
Libya’s oil output recently suffered a 250,000-bpd decline as an armed group blocked the pipeline feeding crude into the Zawiya terminal from the country’s largest field, Sharara, but order was quickly restored and Libya is again producing around 700,000 bpd.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.