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The leader of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, has threatened to use force unless the country’s political leaders agreed on a way to distribute oil revenues fairly, Argus has reported, citing a deadline at the end of next month.
War-torn Libya has managed to boost its oil production to 1.2 million barrels daily but, according to the general, whose LNA is affiliated with the eastern government of Libya, the revenues from the sale of those barrels are not being distributed fairly.
Haftar has proposed the setting up of a committee to distribute those revenues which come from oil, most of which is produced in eastern Libya. If the authorities fail to do that, the LNA will use force to make its argument.
Oil production capacity in Libya is expected to reach a maximum of 1.8 million bpd by 2024, even if political stability prevails and clashes cease, according to a report by the African Energy Chamber from early this year.
The estimates were published at the beginning of this year after the Libyan Government of National Unity said it hoped the country could be able to produce 3 million bpd in two or three years.
Right now, however, tensions between the east and the west in Libya are on the rise. Haftar’s threat of the use of force was not the first recent one. In fact, it followed a similar threat issued by the eastern government late last month.
The Government of National Stability said it would stop the flow of oil and gas unless the western-based Government of National Unity appointed an eastern-government representative to oversee the National Oil Corporation, Argus reported at the time.
Libya is currently busy trying to attract foreign investment in its oil industry in order to boost production and revenues. Yet this foreign investment will be less likely to come if the political stability situation deteriorates further.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com