by WorldTribune Staff, July 31, 2016
The UN-backed unity government in Libya has reached a deal with the nation’s petroleum guards to re-open four key oil terminals despite opposition from key opposition and military forces headed by Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
The combined capacity of the four ports – Sider, Zawiya, Ras Lanuf, and Zueitina – is 860,000 barrels per day.
Since the ouster of Col. Moammar Gadhafi five years ago, Libya’s oil industry has been in disarray, with warring factions blockading oilfields and ports.
Libya has the largest crude oil reserves in Africa, but the unrest has sunk its output to second from the bottom among OPEC members.
Moussa al-Kouni, the deputy head of the country’s UN-brokered presidency council, and Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) head Ibrahim Jadhran informed reporters on July 28 of the deal to re-open the oil terminals.
Jadhran had been largely responsible for blocking the ports.
Meanwhile, Mustafa Sanalla, the head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a letter to UN envoy Martin Kobler that he believes the deal to re-open the terminals was a mistake.
In the letter, Sanalla said it was wrong to reward Jadhran for the blockade of the ports. According to NOC’s chairman, other groups would see the deal as an encouragement to block oil operations in Libya, hoping for payout.
Sanalla also said the NOC would pull out its recognition of the Presidential Council, the leadership of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).