By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 18 March 2015:
The internationally-recognised government . . .[restrict]of Abdullah Al-Thinni has asked companies exporting oil through national terminals to deal with its Benghazi-based state oil corporation, by-passing the National Oil Coropration (NOC) in Tripoli.
A statement issued by the Thinni government has warned oil companies to deal solely with its oil officials based in Benghazi and with its NOC head Mabruk Abu Seif. The announcement accuses unauthorised individuals of having tried to illegally sell oil outside of proper channels.
The move looks set to take oil revenues out of reach of the Tripoli based antigovernment of Omer Al-Hassi. At present, funds generated from oil and gas exports are transferred to the Central Bank also in Tripoli.
The NOC in Tripoli has said it will take legal action against any unauthorised individuals it discovers marketing oil illegally. It had previously denied being aware of any attempts to sell oil outside of its mechanisms.
Abu Saif has said the Benghazi-based NOC will begin collecting revenue imminently. “We will ask in a week or two the NOC clients to apply for the new loading programme that covers the ports under control of the legal government,” he told Bloomberg.
It is not clear whether the plans will lead to the creation of a second central bank, also based in the east of the country to manage the funds.
National oil production currently stands at 490,000 barrels per day following the reopening of western oilfields. Shortly after the revolution national production reached 1.5 million b/d, but it has been crippled by ongoing clashes in and around oil producing areas and export terminals.