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Libya’s oil is still in a state of flux, as Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord got a vote of no-confidence from Libya’s parliament on Monday. Now that the parliament has rejected PM Fayez al-Sarraj’s government, the situation is again likely to deteriorate, putting off Libya’s return to the international energy stage yet again.
This is the latest chapter in Libya’s long and convoluted path to the restoration of order—and oil¬—after the civil war that followed the deposition of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Wide support for the GNA is seen as essential for the restoration of the peace, but those hopes were dashed on Monday when the internationally recognized official legislative body of the war-torn African nation, the House of Representatives (or Council of Representatives), refused to recognize the GNA.
The legislators then gave Sarraj ten days to come up with a new selection of ministers.
Clashes between the armed forces of each government have been frequent—focused of course on oil. Most recently, the Petroleum Facilities Guard, affiliated with the GNA, and the Libyan National Army, serving the eastern government, reached an agreement to open the Zueitina terminal and restart exports, but it seems that agreement may be a temporary one.
The Monday vote was the first in six months, since it was the first time a quorum was achieved. Of the 101 MPs present, 61 voted against the government, and 39 abstained. At the last vote in February, 100 of the 198 MPs voted in favor of the GNA, but said they were intimidated into doing it. The parliament also urged Sarraj to select no more than 8-12 potential ministers, after in February he presented 18 names.
Sarraj’s government has been in operation since March, when Serraj arrived in Tripoli. Until recently, the government worked from a naval base in the city, succeeding in winning the support of the central bank and the National Oil Corporation, or rather, its western arm, because the state-owned oil company also split into two. The two arms have now agreed to unite for the common good, but it remains to be seen whether the country will have a legitimate government anytime soon.
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.