Losses from the closure of oil wells in Libya and the current blockades imposed by the rebel forces headed by warlord Khalifa Haftar accumulated to nearly $6 billion over the last five months, the country's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement on Monday.
The Libyan economy suffered huge losses and continues to do so due to the oil blockades which were described in the statement as “illegal” and which will badly affect the state's 2020-2021 budget and salary payments.
Libya has the largest proven crude oil reserves in Africa at 48.4 billion barrels, and natural gas and oil revenues represent approximately 90% of the government’s revenue.
Libya's internationally-recognized government has been under attack by Haftar's forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. Since 2014, Haftar's militias have been targeting oil fields, which represent the lungs of the Libyan economy.
Libya produced some 1.6 million barrels per day and exported mostly to Italy, France, Spain and Germany. However, the Libyan economy has experienced a significant decline because of political unrest and a corresponding decline in production in oil fields under the control of Haftar forces.
By Sibel Morrow