(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The UN-backed Government of National Accord met with the Libyan Central Bank, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Audit Bureau on Thursday in Rome where an agreement was reached regarding Libya’s oil industry.
The meeting was headed by the Presidency Council’s deputy Ahmed Maetig and had representatives from the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund in addition to ambassadors from nations including France and Britain in attendance.
The four institutions agreed that an increase in oil production could elevate the pressure on Libya’s economy which is causing great struggles for the Libyan people. They also agreed on the need to give priority to public services in the 2016-2017 national budget, specifically healthcare and education.
The PC released a statement following the meeting saying that the discussions that took place in the meeting will continue and that an outline of the implementation plan would be finalized by December 1.
The Council also said that it “will continue to work with the Central Bank of Libya, to support the Libyan dinar, by taking all measures necessary to do so”.
Oil production has increased significantly following General Khalifa Haftar’s forceful seizure of major oil ports in Libya’s oil crescent from the GNA loyal Petroleum Facilities’ Guards. Despite being loyal to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, Haftar has agreed to allow the revenue from the oil exports to go to the Central Bank which is based in Tripoli.
Moreover, there are oil pipeline taps that transfer oil from Libya’s southwestern region to Az-Zāwiyah, a coastal city about 50 kilometres west of Tripoli, which are closed at Reyaynain Jebal Nafusa, which is about 200 kilometers south of Tripoli. Once the taps are reopened oil fields in western Libya can add 450,000 barrels of crude to Libya’s overall oil production.
However, local news reports say that some are skeptical of the taps being reopened since it is one of Zintan’s political bargaining chips.