At a Tripoli press conference today promoting the Libya Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy Fair (28 to 30 November 2022), Oil and Gas Minister Mohamed Aoun said the fair is to encourage international companies to return to or enter the Libyan oil sector. ‘‘We are ready to receive them’’, he stressed.
He said Libya is under-explored and wants to develop existing oilfields, increase exploration, and develop the sector. The sector needs to produce more just to meet anticipated local gas consumption. As an example, he pointed out that increased gas supplies of about 2 billion cubic feet are needed to feed the newly constructed power stations to generate more electricity. Pipelines must also be extended to them. ‘‘Development and increased production are a necessity’’, he added.
Aoun complimented the Oil and Gas Ministry for its success in preserving oil revenues for the state and said its aim is to maintain current oil production while continuing exploration and development to increase production. Libya has great potential, he added, and is ranked fifth in shoal oil and gas reserves.
Global oil consumption to wane
Highlighting the new approaching global reality in the sector, Minister Aoun said by 2050 hydrocarbon consumption is expected to be a quarter of current consumption.
Libya must prepare for new world of renewables
The direction towards renewables means we must increase investment in renewables now either through the state, the private sector or through PPP, he said.
He revealed that his Ministry and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) have created a committee to study the transformation from hydrocarbons to renewables.
Local manufacture of spare parts
Aoun also revealed that his Ministry is studying with the Ministry of Industry and Minerals and the Libyan Iron and Steel Company (LISCO) the possibility of manufacturing some spare parts for the oil sector locally.
Human resource development to enable the Ministry to absorb many young job seekers into the oil sector is also being studied
Aoun reaffirmed his support for the Libyan private sector in the local oil industry who he said should enter with their full weight. However, he said the Libyan private sector must enter the industry with the sector’s existing high standards which are imposed by international partners.
Nigeria-Europe pipeline through Libya
He also revealed that his Ministry has presented a study to the government for proposed Nigeria gas pipeline to Europe planned to run through Algeria to run through Libya instead.
Having an oil ministry enables a global outlook
Minister Aoun could not resist having an indirect dig at his nemesis Mustafa Sanalla when he pointed out that only by having an oil ministry could Libya take a sovereign outlook on policies in the oil and energy sector. Without mentioning him by name, the implication was that Sanalla was too narrow in his outlook for Libya’s oil sector.