The oil blockade on six extraction fields between mid-April and mid-July 2022 led to a drop of 865,000 bpd in oil production and nearly 220 million m3 in natural gas production per day. The cost of these three months of blockage is estimated at around 3.5 billion USD.
In mid-summer, the replacement of NOC President Mustafa Sanalla by Fahrat Bengdara reshuffled the cards and suggested a fragile balance between the interests of the West and the East in the field of control and power sharing. in the field of hydrocarbons.
Since the beginning of August 2022, oil production has again reached its pre-blockade levels, around 1.2 Mb/d of crude oil and 50,000 b/d of condensates. In mid-October, OPEC projections for Libya forecast average crude oil production for the whole of 2022 at 1.02 b/d, compared to 1.18 b/d in 2021; a lesser evil given the scale of the blockade in 2022, but a scenario that nevertheless involves the continuation of the current balance, which is nevertheless threatened by the accumulation of internal and external tensions.
The new precarious balance resulting from the agreement between Mr. Aldabaiba and Mr. Haftar on the replacement of Mr. Sanalla by Mr. Bengdara at the head of the NOC could be weakened by the reactivation of the Higher Energy Council, a body created in 2009 but never implemented. Endowed with broad prerogatives, this Council is chaired by the Prime Minister of the GUN in person. The ministers of hydrocarbons, planning, economy, finance, the head of the audit office, the Director of the BCL, the president of the NOC, of GECOL and of the Organization for Renewable Energies are members. .
This Superior Energy Council is reshuffling the cards in the crucial game of controlling the hydrocarbons sector and places Mr. Aoun, Minister of Hydrocarbons and Mr. Bengdara, President of the NOC, in an uncomfortable situation. In addition, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the GNA government and Turkey on cooperation in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons has contributed to the rise in tensions.
This signature has sparked condemnation from international players, first and foremost Greece and Egypt, who fear that it could lead to exploration and development activities in the exclusive economic zones they claim. This latest memorandum of understanding follows a disputed November 2019 maritime border agreement between Libya and Turkey, which significantly extended their maritime delimitations to the detriment of Greece and Egypt.
This latest move by the GNA prime minister illustrates the redistribution of roles underway within Libya’s hydrocarbons sector, previously controlled by Mr. Sanalla’s NOC.
Finally, social tensions in southwestern Libya directly threaten oil production, with rumors of imminent closure by local groups becoming increasingly insistent. About 370,000 bpd are produced in this area, split between the El Sharara field (300,000 bpd), managed by Repsol (TotalEnergies participation), and the El Feel field (70,000 bpd ), led by Eni.
Source : Embassy of France in Tunisia and Libya
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