Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) reiterated on Friday its demand for a 67-percent pay increase for the workers in the oil and gas sector, the state oil firm said on Friday, after a meeting with Fayez al-Serraj, the head of the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.
NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla has discussed the issue of the pay rise with al-Sarraj and reaffirmed the importance of raising the salaries of the workers in the oil and gas sector, as it was initially decided in 2013 but never implemented.
Representatives of the NOC, the Presidency Council, and the ministry of finance will meet next week to discuss the implementation of the planned pay rise, NOC said in a statement.
“Oil and gas workers are making enormous sacrifices and facing many risks, especially under current circumstances. Yet, they have managed to deliver a budget surplus of more than $1.4 billion this year alone. The time has come for energy sector workers to receive recognition for their service, and to be recompensed for their efforts by implementing the 67% pay rise,” NOC’s Sanalla said.
The head of the oil firm also spoke with the Presidency Council to highlight how important it is for NOC to receive an increased budget for operations and investments in order to raise oil production and consequently, oil revenues, NOC said.
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Earlier this week, reports emerged that Libya’s eastern strongman General Khalifa Haftar—who is affiliated with an eastern government rival of that of al-Sarraj’s—is boosting his military presence around the country’s largest oil field, Sharara in southern Libya.
The security situation in Libya has materially worsened since the spring after Haftar ordered in early April his Libyan National Army (LNA) to march on the capital Tripoli. The self-styled army has been clashing with troops of the UN-backed government in a renewed confrontation that has escalated and disrupted, once again, Libya’s oil production and exports.
The latest in a series of force majeures at Sharara was lifted on August 8.
Two outages at Sharara in one month forced Libya’s oil production down to below 1 million bpd in the first week of August—the lowest level in five months and a sign of Libya’s wild card status in terms of production consistency.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.