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Libya's Oil Company Clashes With Central Bank Over Earnings

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) will not be transferring the revenues from crude oil sales to the Central Bank of Libya until the bank adopts transparent policies on the spending of those revenues, the Libyan state oil firm said on Monday.  

NOC was responding to a statement from last week from the Central Bank, which, the oil firm says, provided false and misleading figures about the revenues and expenditures between January and October this year. 

According to NOC, the state oil firm deposited US$3.7 billion to the central bank in the first ten months of the year.  

“In the light of the foregoing, we would like to reassure the whole Libyan people of the accuracy of the payment and collection systems and we confirm that the entire revenues of the State of Libya, as well as the rights of the foreign partners, are accurately documented and held in the National Oil Corporation Account at the Libyan Foreign Bank and the revenues will not be transferred to the account of Central Bank until the Bank has a clear transparency in front of the Libyan people regarding the mechanism of spending the oil revenues during the last years and the entities that benefited from such revenues,” NOC said in a statement on Monday. 

The oil revenues over the past nine years have exceeded US$186 billion, the oil firm said. 

“However, the intransigence of the Central Bank and its non-compliance with transparency and disclosure of the State’s expenditure have created a suitable atmosphere for the oil blockades and the Central Bank’s ambiguous policies were used as pretexts for the blockaders,” NOC added. 

The strained relations among Libyan institutions are nothing new, but this time the rift between the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Central Bank comes just as Libya’s oil production has returned to 1.25 million bpd, the level the OPEC member exempted from the OPEC+ cuts was pumping before the port blockade in January. 

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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