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Libya's embattled GNU Head urges OPEC output boost

March 16, 2022 at 8:02 pm

A general view shows an oil refinery in Libya’s northern town of Ras Lanuf on January 11, 2017 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP via Getty Images]

The Head of Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU) tweeted, on Wednesday, that OPEC countries should boost oil output, a move that may have no real impact on the organisation’s policy but seems aimed at shoring up support with Western states, Reuters reports.

Abdulhamid Al-Dbeibah has vowed to hang on to office in Tripoli, despite Parliament swearing in a rival government this month and analysts fear the crisis could erupt into fighting for control of the State.

The United Nations and Western countries have avoided backing Dbeibah or the Parliament-backed Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, as Libya’s legitimate leader and are, instead, pushing for elections.

However, Western countries have urged OPEC to increase output to help ease prices that have been driven up by the crisis in Ukraine.

Libya is an OPEC member, but it is not subject to the organisation’s production quotas.

READ: Pro-Haftar militias arbitrarily detain 50 people after prison break

Dbeibah also tweeted that Libya would put in place plans to allow its state energy company to boost production.

National Oil Corp (NOC) has, for years, sought more state funding to bolster energy output and has briefly shut down different facilities over the past year, citing budget restrictions and repeated closures by protesters and fighters.

Analysts have said they expect Libya’s oil sector to be pulled further into the country’s political crisis if there is no clear resolution to the dispute over control of the government soon.

The Parliament has urged NOC to stop putting funds received from oil sales into the Central Bank, whose governor is seen as a political ally of Dbeibah.

The UN sanctions committee on Libya has received letters regarding an alleged attempt to illicitly export crude oil outside the umbrella of NOC, the committee head told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a group in the east, where forces linked to the Parliament have control, has threatened to shut down oil output.

READ: Libya resumes production at Sharara and El-Feel oilfields