Thursday
August, 18

Libya’s Tripoli Govt Installs New Oil Company Boss

In the midst of a war for control over a business whose profits serve as the sole source of state funding, Libya’s Tripoli government announced on Thursday that it has appointed a new chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) at the state producer’s headquarters.

The dispute over NOC has exposed fissures in both the loose eastern and western factions, whose enmity has long fueled the war in Libya and runs the risk of weakening the company’s historical independence from intra-factional strife.

Rival factions have voiced strong resistance to Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-choice Dbeibah’s to replace longtime NOC head Mustafa Sanalla with former central bank governor Farhat Bengdara.

While a NOC statement claimed disguised, armed fighters attacked the company’s headquarters to forcibly install Bengdara, Sanalla, who was supported by both of Libya’s competing legislative bodies, rejected his dismissal in a fiery address, claiming Dbeibah’s mandate had expired.

Earlier, the NOC had allegedly shown a video of firm personnel fighting with GNU (Government of National Unity) representatives who were accompanying Bengdara.

However, shortly later, Bengdara attended a news conference at NOC headquarters, where a Reuters photographer reported that things appeared to be peaceful.

Before Al Waha Oil Co quickly deleted its tweet in support of the new NOC board, two NOC affiliates—Arabian Gulf Oil Co. and Al Waha Oil Co.—also posted their support. It wasn’t immediately clear if Bengdara was acknowledged as chairman by other NOC affiliates.

For years, controlling Libya’s oil wealth has been the main objective of the warring parties. Last year, the country produced 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or more than 1% of the world’s petroleum.

However, as a result of different factions’ tactics in the long-running conflict to take over the government and access state money, the supply has fluctuated at fields and export terminals.

READ MORE: Iran Threatens ‘Harsh Response’ To Any US Mistake

It is unclear how the dispute over NOC leadership would impact a blockade currently being carried out by organizations allied with Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the eastern region, which has reduced output by 850,000 bpd.

The goal of the embargo is to force out Dbeibah in favor of Fathi Bashagha, a new leader chosen in March by Haftar’s allies in the eastern parliament. Dbeibah asserts the legitimacy of his rule.

Bengdara stated that legal action should be taken in order to contest his chairmanship of NOC and that there would be “good news next week” about the restoration of oil exports to their highest level.

The United States said it was monitoring the situation with concern and that it must not lead to armed violence. The United States has been attempting to resolve factional rivalry for access to oil supplies through a planned new body to control state finances.

It complimented Sanalla and noted that NOC had maintained its technical proficiency and political neutrality under his direction.

Sanalla’s board was still in operation, according to a statement from the parliament.

The High State Council, which has its headquarters in Tripoli, the other legislative body, urged Dbeibah to reverse the choice to choose a new NOC chairman.

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Adoga Stephen
Adoga Stephen is a trained journalist, researcher, creative writer and freelancer. He studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (then Laspotech) and acquired requisite skills for the practice of journalism, a profession he has been practicing since 2016.

In the midst of a war for control over a business whose profits serve as the sole source of state funding, Libya’s Tripoli government announced on Thursday that it has appointed a new chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) at the state producer’s headquarters.

The dispute over NOC has exposed fissures in both the loose eastern and western factions, whose enmity has long fueled the war in Libya and runs the risk of weakening the company’s historical independence from intra-factional strife.

Rival factions have voiced strong resistance to Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-choice Dbeibah’s to replace longtime NOC head Mustafa Sanalla with former central bank governor Farhat Bengdara.

While a NOC statement claimed disguised, armed fighters attacked the company’s headquarters to forcibly install Bengdara, Sanalla, who was supported by both of Libya’s competing legislative bodies, rejected his dismissal in a fiery address, claiming Dbeibah’s mandate had expired.

Earlier, the NOC had allegedly shown a video of firm personnel fighting with GNU (Government of National Unity) representatives who were accompanying Bengdara.

However, shortly later, Bengdara attended a news conference at NOC headquarters, where a Reuters photographer reported that things appeared to be peaceful.

Before Al Waha Oil Co quickly deleted its tweet in support of the new NOC board, two NOC affiliates—Arabian Gulf Oil Co. and Al Waha Oil Co.—also posted their support. It wasn’t immediately clear if Bengdara was acknowledged as chairman by other NOC affiliates.

For years, controlling Libya’s oil wealth has been the main objective of the warring parties. Last year, the country produced 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or more than 1% of the world’s petroleum.

However, as a result of different factions’ tactics in the long-running conflict to take over the government and access state money, the supply has fluctuated at fields and export terminals.

READ MORE: Iran Threatens ‘Harsh Response’ To Any US Mistake

It is unclear how the dispute over NOC leadership would impact a blockade currently being carried out by organizations allied with Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the eastern region, which has reduced output by 850,000 bpd.

The goal of the embargo is to force out Dbeibah in favor of Fathi Bashagha, a new leader chosen in March by Haftar’s allies in the eastern parliament. Dbeibah asserts the legitimacy of his rule.

Bengdara stated that legal action should be taken in order to contest his chairmanship of NOC and that there would be “good news next week” about the restoration of oil exports to their highest level.

The United States said it was monitoring the situation with concern and that it must not lead to armed violence. The United States has been attempting to resolve factional rivalry for access to oil supplies through a planned new body to control state finances.

It complimented Sanalla and noted that NOC had maintained its technical proficiency and political neutrality under his direction.

Sanalla’s board was still in operation, according to a statement from the parliament.

The High State Council, which has its headquarters in Tripoli, the other legislative body, urged Dbeibah to reverse the choice to choose a new NOC chairman.

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