Fight over Oil Offers Opportunity to Protect Libya’s Wealth
In his latest article with Al-Monitor, Jason Pack, the founder of Libya Analysis, identifies the issues at stake in the dispute about the control of oil infrastructure between Western and Eastern institutions. Pack analyses that
Which NOC is deemed to have exported the crude is actually an issue of where the payment flows rather than what personnel produce and load the oil. The real NOC is Libya’s most truly national institution with 65,000 employees. It is run by Libya’s most respected technocrat, Mustafa Sanallah. Conversely, the Eastern NOC’s handful of personnel are seen as crooks in the international community and have been on the verge of being sanctioned by the US government. The Eastern NOC can only produce or load crude by converting real NOC employees and pressuring others at gunpoint. […] Therefore, so long as Hifter doesn’t attempt to smuggle oil, the current blockade remains about opposing the unpopular Tripoli-based CBL, rather than picking a losing battle with the respected Tripoli-based NOC.
Drawing from this analysis, Pack goes on to demonstrate how resolving this dispute could provide an opportunity for the West to broker an agreement that would protect the country’s wealth and resolve the political impasse,
Prominent Libyan commentators are stating that a deal could be arranged whereby Hifter would hand control of the oil ports back to the real NOC in exchange for the HCS finally approving Shukri as Kabir’s replacement. […]The West must now use its diplomatic wiles to provide Hifter, the GNA, HCS and the NOC a face-saving way out of this impasse: have them facilitate Kabir’s replacement by Shukri and simultaneously request an international financial commission to safeguard Libya’s finances.
Click here to read the article in full.