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Libya On The Brink Of Conflict Despite Rising Oil Output

Oil production

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

Watch Libya’s newfound oil output with a huge dose of skepticism. We’ve warned of this repeatedly since a dubious deal that ousted the NOC chairman and suddenly saw an end to protests and lifting of force majeure. It’s still a powder keg - more so every day. PM-designate Bashagha is no longer content to sit in Sirte, the gateway to the Oil Crescent, where he set up his government when current interim PM Dbeibah refused to step down. He is now threatening to take Tripoli by force. Both sides are clearly mobilizing their forces. If Bashagha tries to enter Tripoli again (it would be the third attempt), this time it will be armed, which will likely mean a return to bloody conflict. On Thursday, an extraordinary meeting of the Presidential Council and top security officials was convened, with Dbeibah included. The UN is on high alert, and the US State Department is also on edge. A mobilization is happening, and this is the 11th hour. Things are slightly different now, though. There are new alliances and factions, and it won’t play out the same way it did in 2014. This time external forces aren’t as keen to be involved and turn this into a Libya-wide war for control of oil resources. It is not yet clear whether Bashagha could have a chance at taking Tripoli by force. This would depend on to what extent militia alliances have shifted inside Tripoli. Coming in from the outside alone, we do not see how he could…

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