Photo credits: Mahmud Turkia, AFP
House of Representative Chief of Staff Abdulraziq Al-Nadori warned on Tuesday that any oil tanker that comes close to oil fields in eastern Libya without the green light from the National Oil Corporation (NOC) will be attacked.
“We will target any boat that approaches the Libyan coast without prior agreement with the NOC in Benghazi,” said Al-Nadhouri.
Libya, which has the largest oil reserves in all of Africa, has seen its lowest output in oil production since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The leadership of many state institutions, including the NOC, ended up with two separate executive authorities one in each end of the country after two rival governments declared their authority over Libya.
The threats were made just as the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) waits for the unity government in Tripoli (GNA) to sign an agreement that would assure the PFG that their salaries would be paid.
The NOC released a statement on Tuesday saying political conflicts should not be mixed in with the business of the oil and gas sector.
The statement also made mention of meetings going on from Thursday to Sunday in Vienna, Austria between NOC officials and international oil corporations such as the ENI from Italy and Total from France.
The representatives from oil corporations at the meeting all agreed that there is an “urgent need to end the closure of the oilfields and terminals without any conditions.”
Though the GNA was able to unify the NOC leadership, Haftar and the Tobruk-based parliament have yet to recognize the GNA as Libya’s official government.
Libya’s oil production reached about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, with production now dropping to around 300,000 bdp.