Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard Threaten to Close Oil Fields

Libya's Petroleum Facilities Guard Threaten to Close Oil Fields
Libya's Petroleum Facilities Guard Threaten to Close Oil Fields

Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) have threatened to close fields and ports in the west of the country if the authorities do not respond to their “legal demands.”

Members of the PFG organized protests in several regions in the west of the country on Thursday evening. They are demanding that their overdue salaries be paid, and their health insurance system be activated.

A source in the Libyan Presidential Council told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Friday that the Council’s Head, Mohamed Al-Mnifi was informed of the demands, and called for a study to be conducted.

Al-Mnifi stressed the need to “distance the oil sector from any demands that might harm the public interest,” the sources added.

Notably, the United States Special Envoy to Libya, Ambassador Richard Norland said that his priority in Libya is the fair distribution of Libya’s oil revenues.

In televised statements, Norland added that Libya “receives large amounts of money every day with the rise in oil prices, yet there are no mechanisms to distribute these funds in a fair and transparent manner.”

He pointed out that the money “goes to a specific group and the citizens are deprived of it. We are trying to help the Libyans establish a mechanism to manage oil revenues.”

He stressed that this “work is ongoing and very important because the ongoing conflict is not distributing the revenues fairly to the Libyans. We must also talk, above all, about a ceasefire and making sure that there is no return to fighting between the various parties. We want to support efforts to gather the armed forces in the east and west of the country, to create a unified Libyan army with all military parties, who can address security issues in the south and through the security working group within the framework of the Berlin Agreement.”

In September, the Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Farhat Bengdara announced that the corporation plans to raise production rates to 2 million bpd.

“This will be achieved in accordance with a three to five-year medium-term plan, to increase crude oil production rates to two million bpd within available capabilities,” he added.

Bengadra stressed that “the current capabilities, in terms of reservoirs and reserves, will help to reach these rates,” explaining that Libya’s crude oil production has surpassed 1.2 million bpd. He added that increasing oil production has been the main goal of the board since taking office.