A Libyan official has dismissed comments made by Tunisian President Kais Saied about sharing the rights to the Bouri oilfield. In a statement issued yesterday, Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed Oun said that the status of the oilfield was decided in favour of Libya by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) back in 1982.
Oun explained that the maritime border between the two countries was also defined by the ICJ ruling and that the Libyan leadership would response to Saied’s remarks. The head of the Energy Committee of the Libyan parliament, Issa Al-Oraibi, mentioned that his committee is reviewing the Tunisian president’s comments before making an official response.
— The Libya Update (@TheLibyaUpdate) March 18, 2023
Saied made his remarks during a visit to the Tunisian Corporation for Petroleum Activities on Thursday. He pointed out that his country has received minimal returns from the Bouri oilfield, due to an “unfair ruling”. He claimed that there was an intention to share the oilfield with Libya as long ago as 1974.
Situated in the Mediterranean, the oilfield was discovered in 1976, with production starting in 1988. It is located 120 kilometres north of the Libyan coast, and produces around 23,000 barrels of oil per day under the management of the Mellitah Oil and Gas Company in partnership with the Italian company Eni.
In December last year, the head of the Libyan Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, met with President Saied at Carthage Palace in Tunis where they agreed to usher in full cooperation between the two countries, including strengthening economic, political and security ties.