Libya's revenue from oil and gas fell year-over-year by 92% in 2020 due to the months-long blockade on oil facilities that halted the majority of exports, the country's central bank said on Wednesday.
The central bank in Tripoli said that revenue for 2020 plummeted to $652 million from $7.04 billion in 2019.
Libya, the holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves, has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Based in the capital Tripoli and currently led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Government of National Accord (GNA) was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement.
Al-Sarraj's government has been battling Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed.
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) is struggling to control oil fields, storage tanks, pumping stations, pipelines and ports, which have been damaged or corroded, and lacks the money to carry out repairs.
The OPEC member’s oil industry was shut down in January 2020 when the Benghazi-based Libya National Army (LNA) led by rebel commander Haftar became locked in a power struggle with the GNA, resulting in a blockade of the country's oil fields and ports.
The reopening of the oil fields and ports since Sept.18, after an eight-month hiatus, prompted resurgence in Libya's oil industry to the extent that daily crude oil production in the country surpassed 500,000 barrels from previous levels of as low as 100,000 barrels.
Tripoli's crude output saw a rapid rebound, reaching nearly 1.25 million barrels a day from almost a dead start in September, thanks to a tentative peace between rival military forces.
However, the country's output fell to around 1 million barrels daily in the wake of the Waha Oil Company's decision on Jan. 16 to shut the pipeline that takes crude to the eastern oil port of Es Sider, the country's biggest.
By Busranur Begcecanli