By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 10 December 2017:
Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj has held joint talks with the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanalla and Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) governor Saddek Elkaber in a fresh effort to ensure that the oil industry has sufficient funding to enable it to both maintain its infrastructure and increase production and exploration.
Sanalla has been pressing both the PC and the CBL for over a year for capital expenditure funding to enable it to increase production and, with it, national revenues. Just over a year ago, he said $2.5 billion funding was needed for 2017. This investment in the sector, he said at the time, would allow the country to earn an extra $4.125 billion.
He has also been pushing for NOC to be in charge of its own revenues, rather than them going to the CBL which then pays NOC bills as agreed in the budget.
So far, his calls have largely fallen on deaf ears, notably in the CBL, although there was a major meeting in August to discuss them. It was chaired by Serraj and again involved Sanalla and Elkaber as well as deputy PC head Ahmed Maetig, PC foreign minister Mohamed Siala and the PC’s head of the Libyan Investment Authority, Ali Mahmoud.
At yesterday’s meeting, it was pointed out that increased oil production and exports would contribute to improving the economic and liquidity situation and reduce the budget deficit.
No agreement, though, to release funds to the NOC was announced.
In an earlier version of this story, we reported that Sanalla had told Serraj at the meeting that oil output could reach 1.7 million b/d at some point next year. This was incorrect, and we apologise for the error.