By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 18 October 2017:
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) which this summer hit a million barrels a day in recovered output is now struggling financially and logistically. With the Presidency Council’s failure to provide all the promised budget, the state oil company is unable to fund repairs and maintain production, even without the return of blockades and disruption by groups with grievances.
Meanwhile, NOC subsidiary Brega Oil and Marketing is struggling to deliver its products around the country.
After the successful resumption of tanker convoys carrying petrol, diesel and LPG to the south of the country, NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla has turned to supplies to the Jebel Nafusa in the west. The main problem is the diversion of road tankers by fuel smugglers and theft from petrol stations themselves.
Talks with executives from NOC subsidiaries, including Brega Oil and Market also involved members of Jebel Nafusa municipalities as well as officials from the Presidency Council’s (PC) fuel crisis and control committees. The smuggling problem is not new but has apparently been getting worse. This March the mayor of Sabratha Hassen Dhawadi responded to angry citizens queuing outside forecourts saying that he could not stop fuel smugglers from diverting tankers or stealing from fuel stations. Dhawadi begged the authorities in Tripoli to take a hand in stopping the illegal trade.
Given that Brega’s campaign begun this January to inspect and control the supply of fuel from forecourts has clearly not worked, NOC is looking for another way to ensure the security of fuel supplies.
It appears that Brega may be told to deliver to a limited number of fuel stations where security and control will be high. There is also to be greater security for tanker movements, perhaps involving the use of separate armed escorts and satellite tracking technology. The details are to be hammered out by a new committee.