Libyan Notables Dismiss Tunisian Proposal to Share Oil Field


The National Commission for Libyan Sheikhs and Notables announced its rejection of the recent statements made by Tunisian President, Kais Saied regarding sharing Libya’s El-Bouri oil field with Tunisia.

In a statement, the Commission expressed its “surprise that the issue of the dispute was raised after nearly 50 years have passed since it was settled in a satisfactory manner for the two countries.” It confirmed Libya’s “adherence to its legal right, which was reinforced by the rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), regarding the dividing line of the continental shelf.”

The statement, which was reported by the Libyan News Agency (LANA) noted that the offshore field, which the Tunisian President discussed in his speech, is “located very far from the dividing line and the Al-Jurf area.”

The statement said that it was “better for the Tunisian President to review the issue of the continental shelf, and the ruling of the ICJ. It would be better for President Kais Saied to be keener on perpetuating fraternal relations between the two brotherly peoples.”

Earlier this month, the President said that Tunisia was left with “few crumbs” from the Bouri oil field. He called for the field to be shared equally between Libya and Tunisia, stating that it could provide all the needs of Tunisia and more.

The statement was met with rejection from the Libyan side.

Moreover, the Libyan Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohamed Aoun confirmed that the case was previously decided by a ruling from the ICJ.

Aoun explained in a press statement that the “ruling was based on a Libyan-Tunisian agreement, the two parties accepted the ruling, and the maritime borders between Libya and Tunisia are defined.”

The ICJ in the Hague ruled on 24 February 1982 in favour of Libya owning the entire continental shelf, by a majority of 10 votes, against 4 votes.

Tunisia subsequently submitted a request to reconsider the ruling with a view to amending it. Another ruling was issued on 10 December 1985 rejecting the lawsuit, which Tunisia accepted for the second time.

Moreover, the Head of the Energy Committee of the Libyan Parliament, Issa Al-Arabi denounced Saied’s remarks. He told LANA that the committee is considering officially responding to Saied’s statements.

Al-Araibi stressed that “it is not possible to accept or allow prejudice to the Libyan wealth, under any circumstances or any justification.”