The Powerful Vultures Circling Libya
General Khalifa Haftar grossly underestimated the extent that external forces would clamor for Libya’s natural resource bounty once he unleashed his offensive on Tripoli. The vultures wasted no time in descending on this lucrative venue, and they include everyone from China and Russia, to Italy, France, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, not to mention a few smaller powers helping out their respective allies.
What they each want is what will keep this conflict from seeing any resolution in the near future. So what does everyone want a piece of? It’s a lucrative list that has in mind Libya’s plans to double oil production by 2023. That was the focus on a May visit to Houston by NOC head Mustafa Sanalla - and at stake are $60 billion in procurement contracts.
- El Sharara oilfield: This is Libya’s largest producing oilfield, and right now it’s nominally under the control of Haftar’s forces.
- El Feel oilfield: Another big field in southwestern Libya, also under nominal control of Haftar’s forces.
- Offshore oil resources controlled by the Government of National Accord (GNA)
- The ports of Benghazi and Tobruk, with access to the Mediterranean: Under Haftar’s control
- The refinery at Ras Lanuf: Under Haftar’s control
- The above-mentioned lucrative procurement contracts
There’s quite a lot a stake, and very powerful external forces…