HoR Rejects Unified NOC
On 15 March, Reuters reported that the House of Representatives’ (HoR) energy committee issued a statement urging the Libyan National Army (LNA) to hand over Sidra and Ras Lanuf oil ports as soon as it had fully secured them, without saying who they should be handed to. The statement from the eastern parliament said it supported a withdrawal from the National Oil Corporation (NOC) unification deal partly because the NOC headquarters had not been moved to Benghazi, as agreed.” We inform everyone of the end of the agreement by which the oil ports were handed over to the so-called unified NOC,” the HoR statement said.
When the LNA seized the oil ports in September 2016 it handed control over the the Tripoli-based NOC which had been unified with the splinter Benghazi-based NOC in July the same year. This meant that although the eastern-based LNA secured the ports, the NOC was able to export crude, with the oil receipts being channelled through the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL).
This may well mean that Haftar is going to try and keep control of the oil ports as well as the oil exports and revenue. This would mark a significant shift away from his previous policy, and highlights how the recent escalation in the Oil Crescent has further deepened Libya’s cleavages. The likely outcome of this move would be the declaration of force majeure at oil ports controlled by the LNA by the Tripoli-based NOC.
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