By Sami Zaptia.
London, 25 April 2021:
Statement of the National Oil Corporation
Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) welcomed Friday the statement issued by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya on 22 April, regarding the closure of the Hariga oil port and the declaration of force majeure.
The NOC affirmed its neutrality, as a pan-Libyan actor, and as a completely independent entity from all Libya’s conflicts, disputes or rivalries.
It stated that it continues to commit to continuing its technical, non-political role – so that “Libyan oil resources remain under the exclusive control of the National Oil Corporation” citing UN Security Council Resolution No. 2434 of 2018, and the UN Security Council’s repeated call to increase oil production (Resolutions 2323 of 2016 and 2376 of 2017).
It affirmed the urgent need for the country’s political elites to understand the especially significant stage through which the country is passing, and the need to distance this vital sector from political disputes – while at the same time reiterating the importance of liquidating the sector’s budgets in accordance with the law and with the official timetable rather than any other irregular or illegal arrangement.
The NOC affirmed that it has made every effort to contribute to preserving the integrity of its equipment, facilities and assets as the only source of income for the country. But as the statement by UNSMIL recognized, the NOC said it must be sufficiently resourced in order to continue to serve as a vital pillar of economic and social stability.
It said it is acting in accordance with the output document from the Berlin process issued by Security Council Resolution No. 2510 of 2020, which recognized that the National Oil Corporation is “the only independent, and legitimate oil company”; called for the protection of the corporation and its facilities and for preventing any attacks against it; and affirmed that the oil sector is owned by the Libyan people.
The NOC reaffirmed the recent unanimous UN Security Council Resolution No. 2571 of April 2021 condemning the illegal export of oil, which undermines the efforts of the National Oil Corporation and the unity of the country.
It welcomed again the recognition and reinforcement of its neutral, technocratic mandate, and declares that it has taken concrete steps in cooperation with the US Department of Energy for several months to enhance the transparency of all its activities and to remain accountable to the Libyan public. This work, it explained, prepares the ground for a review of the governance system within the corporation and its companies, with the aim of highlighting areas of strength for the NOC, identifying areas for improving efficiency, effectiveness, and proposing measures to support the performance of the corporation and its companies. All this will be accomplished in a manner that is in accordance with international best practice for the oil sector, and creates reassurance for the Libyan people as well as for the government and decision-making authorities in the country, it added.
The NOC, in response to the statement of the UNSMIL, and based on the outputs of the Berlin process (paragraph 38), welcomed once again the UNSMIL’s statement and invited it in Libya to assess the efforts made by NOC towards improving transparency, accountability and effectiveness. The NOC said it is ready for any and all cooperation that aims at enhancing these objectives according to the highest international standards.