Oil production drops to 79,655bpd as financial loss nears 4 billion USD and February revenues drop by 68%
On 25 March, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) reported February 2020 revenues of approximately $555 million USD, a decrease of around $1.21 billion USD (68.6%) on January 2020 revenues. The February figure is also a decrease of around $708 million USD (56%) compared with February 2019. As of 29 March, the NOC said that current levels of production were 79,655 bpd, with financial losses exceeding 3.809 USD since the start of the blockade. The NOC warned that although it is still working to source and distribute enough fuels for all Libyans, including in the eastern region, the low levels of supply in some areas means there is a risk of fuel shortages for some Libyans in the coming days.
The economic crisis and the decline in basic supplies and living conditions is noticeably worsening across Libya, and this trend is likely to continue given the escalating conflict, spread of the coronavirus and the ongoing oil blockade. An increase in public anger over the worsening situation is likely to undermine some support for the oil blockade in the East in the coming weeks. However, at this point it seems very unlikely that the Libyan National Army (LNA) would agree to lift the blockade given this would both provide the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces with an influx of revenue and undermine the LNA’s entire narrative for conducting its year-long offensive on Tripoli, giving the GNA the upper hand in the conflict. It seems more likely that the East will ramp up its efforts to both import fuel and export crude outside of the NOC instead, as a way to increase revenue.