Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) Chairman Mustafa Sanalla, and Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s CEO, participated on Tuesday in a panel discussion during the Middle East Mediterranean Summit.
During his speech, Sanalla stressed that the ongoing conflict over oil facilities was part of an international political conflict, rather than an internal Libyan dispute over the fair distribution of revenues. “Several countries benefit financially from the absence of Libyan oil from the global market. It suits them to use Libyan puppets, supported by foreign mercenaries, to implement the blockade. The vast majority of Libyans themselves want to witness a resumption of oil production, accompanied by genuine transparency on all sides for revenue and spending,” he said.
He also stressed that the average citizen is the most affected by the blockade, “The biggest evidence of this is the deterioration of state services, the continued lack of liquidity, and many other problems that the Libyan citizen suffers daily,” Sanalla added.
Pouyanné praised NOC’s effective role and its efforts to ensure continued production and the export of oil and gas, despite the ongoing conflict in Libya. He also expressed his concern over the presence of armed groups around oil facilities and ports, especially if fighting erupts near oilfields, which would be a disaster with significant loss of life. Pouyanné emphasized the need for all sides to abstain from fighting, and to allow NOC to resume production as a first step towards launching political dialogue.
At the end of the meeting, Sanalla said: “We, at the NOC, are doing everything we can within the limits of the law to lift the blockade, and facilitate the resumption of oil exports. We will then have much work to do to repair damaged facilities. We will require international help. However, we have good partners, and if the appropriate security conditions are provided, there would be no reason to prevent us from increasing production to more than 2 million bpd within a few years.”
The panel discussion was attended by Giampiero Massolo, President of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, Claudia Sosai, civic activist, and Luca Fasani, journalist.
The summit brought together 100 leaders and influencers from North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe to address the challenges the region is going through and to discuss possible solutions to those challenges.