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The U.S, the UK, France, Italy, Germany and the UAE have issued a joint statement in recognition of the National Oil Corporation of Libya as “the country’s sole independent, legitimate and nonpartisan oil company,” the Libya Herald reports.
Reuters adds that Turkey also signed the statement.
“For the sake of Libya’s political and economic stability, and the well-being of all its citizens, we exclusively support the NOC and its crucial role on behalf of all Libyans,” the signatories of the statement also said.
The statement comes in response to the formation of an alternative board of directors at a subsidiary of NOC, the Brega Petroleum Marketing Company in the east of the country, which is under the control of the so-called eastern government—a body not recognized by the UN.
Interestingly enough, the signatories of the statement in support of NOC do not all support the UN-recognized government. The UAE backs the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar, who is affiliated with the eastern government, while the rest are backers of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.
With Libya still divided and the LNA continuing its offensive against Tripoli in a bid to further its control in the war-torn country, NOC called the formation of the new board of directors of Brega an attempt to divide the company and, as a consequence, Libya.
Brega, for its part, has accused NOC of curbing fuel supplies to the eastern parts of Libya as the reason for the breakup. NOC has defended its fuel supplies to the east as “more than adequate for civilian purposes”. The state company also added that the “real motive behind this attempt is to set up a new illegitimate entity for the illegal export of oil from Libya.”
“Let us be clear, if NOC loses its oil export monopoly, the future integrity of Libya is at grave risk,” the chairman of NOC, Mustafa Sanalla, warned last week.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.