Last week, we asked how quickly General Haftar might grow weary of waiting on an elusive oil revenue agreement while the country continues to pump out 1.2 million bpd of oil, which the Central Bank cannot access without a revenue-distribution resolution. This week, we find out, with the first indications of a breakdown in peace coming in the form of an attack on Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in Ubari (south of Tripoli) by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).
Shortly after the attack, which was launched by an LNA force some 120-men strong, Haftar had them withdraw after talks with the local city council. The purpose was nominally to retake a military headquarters occupied by the GNA, but more likely it was simply to send a message that the General has no problem violating the ceasefire agreement if there is any more foot-dragging on an oil revenue deal. This was the first large-scale attack Haftar has launched since May.
It wasn’t a random target, either.
Ubari is home to the giant Sharara oilfield, for which force majeure was just lifted in October.
But there is far more going on here than whether Haftar loses patience or not. This is a political horse-jockeying nightmare that makes oil’s flow look more and more tenuous by the day.
Watch carefully what Turkey’s next move will be, which is directly related to who ends up being the head of the new Presidential Council and the head…