Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas in the Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Aoun accused the Italian group, ENI of “exploiting the division and weakness of governments to demand changes in its contract terms in Libya.” He highlighted how multinational corporations, including France’s Total and America’s ConocoPhillips, are also seeking to amend their exploration development agreements.
Aoun elaborated on the conflict with the National Oil Corporation (NOC), stemming from the Ministry’s opposition to increasing ENI’s stake in a recent agreement. He pointed out that according to Article 2 of Law 25 of 1955 and Article 17, any changes, abandonment, or alteration of agreements require the Ministry’s approval, which imposes its own conditions. Aoun emphasized that this legal requirement was not met, forming a part of their objection.
Aoun acknowledged that the Ministry and the NOC failed to reach the target of 1.3 million barrels per day by the end of 2023, as initially planned. He set this target for 2024 instead. Regarding the goal of reaching approximately two million barrels per day, Aoun estimated it would take 3-5 years, requiring experts and specialists for speedy achievement, and transparency.
The Minister confirmed that public tenders would be open in 2024 to all Arab and foreign companies, interested in exploration and production in Libya. He revealed that the only Arab company that has re-entered the Libyan oil market is Algeria’s Sonatrach, indicating their openness to work with Saudi Aramco as well.
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The county has for years been split between rival administrations.
Libya’s economy, heavily reliant on oil, has suffered due to the ongoing conflict. The instability has led to fluctuations in oil production and prices, impacting the global oil market and Libya’s economy.