Creating new perspectives since 2009

Libya: $1.7bn shortfall in oil revenues for 2017

April 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Image of the Central Bank of Libya [weisserstier/Flickr]

Libya suffered a 30 per cent drop in oil revenues in the first quarter of 2017, Libya’s Ministry of Finance revealed yesterday.

According to official statistics, there was a 44 per cent drop in revenue with only $2.2 billion raised out of an expected $3.87 billion. The shortfall of $1.7 billion has not yet been explained.

The Central Bank of Libya reportedly gave the finance ministry a loan of $3.4 billion to help with the gap, according to the government’s figures.

Read: Libya’s National Oil Corp challenges energy sector decree

Libya has suffered from countless economic crises since the ousting of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 with long queues outside banks a common sight as Libyans struggle to access their funds.

Mustafa Sanalla, Libya’s de facto oil minister told a conference of investors in London last year it was “essential” that western companies helped finance security forces in Libya, particularly in troubled areas like the eastern oil terminals, so as to keep the oil and Libya’s income flowing.

Fighting erupted in Libya’s oil crescent earlier this year when military factions fought for control over the country’s vital oil terminals from forces loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar and the Libyan National Army.

Read: Libya’s National Oil Corp warns of new attempt at independent oil sales

Libya was listed as 170th out of 175 corrupt countries in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index. The unrest and lack of a functioning government has also made it a hotspot for migrants to reach Europe. Countless cases of abuses and torture of migrants have surfaced with thousands drowning off the Mediterranean Coast each month.

Libya has called on the European Union to do more to help with the crises including financial aid and training for the Libyan Coastguard to be better prepared to deal with the magnitude of the problem.