Libyan Oil Minister Accuses NOC Chairman of Squandering $3 Billion

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Libyan Oil Minister, Mohamed Aoun has accused the Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla of wasting $3 billion dollars in public money in favour of foreign companies.

“Since October 2010 and based on Sanalla’s instructions, the NOC’s Accounting Department has written to foreign companies to keep more than $3 billion dollars, as though they were interest-free loans,” he said in press remarks.

“I have no personal disputes with the NOC’s Chairman. I didn’t know him personally before I was assigned to the ministry. The real problem with Sanalla is that he does not implement laws and official decisions. This is in addition to his flagrant and unprecedented violations never before seen in the history of the Corporation,” Aoun noted.

The minister also criticized the Prime Minister’s absolute support for Sanalla, “who misunderstands the laws, which is evidenced by his writings which clearly misinterpret the laws. Until today, the law enforcement authorities have not taken any action regarding Sanalla’s violations, which neglect the wealth of the Libyan people.”

In August, Aoun suspended Sanalla from work and referred him for investigation. However, the NOC announced that the Administrative Control Authority had invalidated the decision.

The dispute escalated between two officials after Aoun took over the oil ministry, which was supposed to be responsible for managing the almost sole income source of the country.

Libya’s oil production is currently about 1.3 million bpd, and may increase to 1.8 million bpd in the coming year.