In a scathing, meandering videoed speech lasting about an hour last night, the recently replaced National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman, Mustafa Sanalla defiantly refused to give up his post.
Sanalla had been sacked by the incumbent caretaker Tripoli-based Libyan prime minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba through decree (642/2022).
The leaked decision was dated 7 July but was only published officially yesterday by the Libyan Ministry of Oil and Gas.
The decision appoints former Central Bank of Libya Governor Farhat Bengdara as the new NOC chairman. The other four of the five-member board are the incumbent Deputy Oil Minister, as well as Hussein Safar, Masoud Musa and Ahmed Abdalla.
Aldabaiba’s Oil Minister, Mohamed Aoun, welcomed the decision he has been long and openly lobbying for.
Sanalla resumes work from NOC Tripoli HQ
Sanalla had just returned from performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. He returned to his NOC headquarters and launched an often personal videoed tirade against Aldabaiba, his government, oil minister Aoun, his replacement Bengdara and the UAE.
The NOC is 16 years older than the UAE!
Aldabaiba’s attempted sacking of Sanalla and his board of directors was a deal with the UAE, Sanalla explained. He said it was a shame that Aldabaiba was selling out on the NOC and Libya to a nation that was 16 years younger in existence than the NOC.
Aldabaiba and his caretaker government are illegitimate
Sanalla attacked Aldabaiba and his government which he said was illegitimate. It was a caretaker government that did not have the right or authority to change the NOC board. The Aldabaiba government’s mandate had expired, and the Libyan parliament had withdrawn confidence from it. The decision to change the NOC board is therefore null and void.
The NOC is protected by international law and agreements
Sanalla repeated his oft quoted mantra that the NOC is an independent technical entity that should not be privy to Libya’s every day political tug-of-war. He insisted the NOC has been time and time again protected by UN resolutions, international political agreements, and statements. He said Aldabaiba must respect the NOC.
Aldabaiba a traitor – appeasing the UAE
Sanalla said the NOC was not a pawn for the Aldabaiba family. He accused Aldabaiba of using the NOC as a bargaining chip in his dealings with others, including the UAE, in order to remain in office. He said Aldabaiba was not trustworthy and ‘‘not a man’’ and could not sack him face to face. He was furious that the sacking happened while he was in Mecca.
He said Aldabaiba was trying to appease the UAE and compensate them for their loss of the (LERCO) oil refinery case. Sanalla said the NOC will not be sold cheaply to the UAE so that Aldabaiba can remain in power.
UAE behind Libya’s oil closures
Sanalla accused the UAE of being behind Libya’s oil closures. He said Aldabaiba had tried to get an US$ 300 million overpriced deal with the UAE through, which Sanalla had stopped. Sanalla asked: are you upset with me for that reason? He then vowed to give the deal to Egypt’s Petrojet instead. He said Aldabaiba was selling the NOC and Libya for personal and political gains.
Bengdara a pawn of the UAE
Sanalla also accused his replacement, Farhat Bengdara, of being a UAE pawn. He said Bengdara wants to sell the NOC and Libya to the UAE – for personal gain.
Aldabaiba’s government received most money with nothing to show
Sanalla said Aldabaiba’s government had received LD 165 billion while in office – the most of any post 2011 administration – but had nothing to show for it except a ‘‘roundabout’’. It had squandered the Libyan people’s money
Aoun is incompetent and has a pending case with the Attorney General
Sanalla said Aldabaiba’s oil minister, Mohamed Aoun, was incompetent. He said he knew nothing about the oil sector when he was running an NOC subsidiary and knows nothing now. He does nothing and he failed to oppose the oil blockade. He said Aoun has a pending case with the Attorney General.
Threatened to reveal more
Sanalla warned Aldabaiba to keep his hands off the NOC and warned that he has more information, including recordings, to reveal about him.
He vowed that he and his board will continue their work from the NOC Tripoli headquarters.
NOC wins arbitration case against Emirati LERCO (libyaherald.com)
NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla and board of directors sacked by Aldabaiba – Bengdara appointed (libyaherald.com)
NOC lifts force majeure at Brega and Zueitina oil ports (libyaherald.com)
Aldabaiba agrees to replace Sanalla as head of NOC: News and analysis (libyaherald.com)
NOC chairman Sanalla suspended from his post and referred for investigation by Oil Minister – his replacement declines the temporary post (libyaherald.com)
Sanalla hits back at Oil Minister Aoun – Aldabaiba to decide their fate in Sunday meeting (libyaherald.com)
Aldabaiba’s Aoun-Sanalla crisis summit: Kiss and make up or slap on the wrist? (libyaherald.com)
Oil Minister Aoun suspends NOC Chairman Sanalla from his post and refers him for investigation for a second time (libyaherald.com)
Ministry of Oil says NOC board will be reformed and Sanalla still suspended – will Sanalla survive Aldabaiba’s planned reshuffle? (libyaherald.com)
NOC welcomes Aldabaiba’s reversal of Oil Minister’s decision to suspend chairman Sanalla (libyaherald.com)