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Libya's eastern authorities say oil money will go to Tripoli central bank

Image of a oil drilling rig [file photo]
Oil drilling rig [file photo]

Authorities in eastern Libya will allow revenues from rising oil production to be paid into the central bank in Tripoli even though they do not recognise the bank's governor there, the head of Libya's eastern parliament told Reuters in an interview.

The pledge is a sign authorities in the east, who have resisted a UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, may not try to take direct control of oil resources and revenues, at least for now. They have previously failed in attempts to export oil independently.

Agila Saleh, president of the east's House of Representatives (HOR), said production should be managed by a unified National Oil Corporation (NOC) and revenues distributed fairly across Libya.

His comments came after the state-run NOC reopened major oil terminals seized last month by eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar, boosting national production by more than 200,000 barrels per day (bpd).

"The revenues of oil will be deposited in the central bank of Libya and will be for all Libyans according to geographic distribution and density of population," Saleh said. "All Libyans benefit from this wealth."

The HOR has been based in the eastern city of Tobruk since 2014 when rival armed factions took control of Tripoli, deepening the political turmoil and conflict that emerged after an uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya was left with two competing sets of institutions in Tripoli and the east, including rival branches of the NOC and the central bank.

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