The Libyan oil conflict has extended to an international political conflict, the chairman of the country's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement on Thursday.
Mustafa Sanalla’s remarks came during a panel discussion on Tuesday with Patrick Pouyanne, the chief executive officer of Total on the latest developments in Libya, following the escalation of tension and conflicts and the collapse of the country’s oil market.
“The ongoing conflict on oil facilities is an international political conflict rather than an internal Libyan dispute over the distribution of revenues,” Sanalla said.
Pouyanne called on all sides to abstain from fighting and to allow the NOC to resume production as a first step towards launching a political dialogue.
Sanalla stressed that Libyan citizens were the most affected by the illegal blockades in the eastern and central region since January.
“The biggest evidence of this is the deterioration of the service side, the continued lack of liquidity and many other problems that the Libyan citizen suffers from on a daily basis.”
He argued that the Libyan people want to see a resumption of oil production, accompanied by genuine transparency on all sides on revenues and spending.
However, he said, “a number of countries benefit financially from the absence of Libyan oil from the global market but it suits them to use Libyan puppets, supported by foreign mercenaries, to actually implement the blockade.”
Pouyanne praised the NOC's positive role and efforts to ensure continued production and oil and gas exports despite the ongoing conflict in Libya.
He also expressed his concern about the military presence around oil facilities and ports, especially in the event that fighting erupts between the conflicting parties there, “which could produce a major disaster with significant civilian loss of life.”
By Sibel Morrow