Why did Mustafa Sanallah Announce the Opening of an Oil Field that was already Opened in 2011?

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Yesterday, the chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla, announced the inauguration of the Sinoun MN 100 oilfield in Nalut, west of the country. According to him, this is a new addition to the country’s oil fields and a direct way to enhance the national economy.

During his address, Sanalla added that the inauguration of the field coincided with the 59th anniversary of the start of the production and export of Libyan oil, explaining that the field will initially produce 10,000 thousand barrels of crude oil per day until it is developed to reach its maximum production capacity of 50,000 thousand barrels per day.

He added that the Arab Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), based in Benghazi, is entrusted with managing the field in the far west of Libya, noting that it has carried out several studies for the development of the field through two phases.

The first phase included starting the early production for the purpose of conducting long-term tests to assess reservoirs and collect the required technical information in addition to producing 10,000 barrels per day.

The second phase includes carrying out comprehensive development of the field to increase production rates and reach its maximum capacity of approximately 50,000 barrels of oil.

Sanalla said that “Sinoun is considered to be the first field to be developed after the revolution of the 17th of February 2011, as part of the corporation’s plan to increase Libyan oil production.” However, this is a false claim.

In fact, on the 3rd of January 2011, the Secretary of the NOC’s management committee, Shoukry Ghanem, had already announced the inauguration of the Sinoun field.

The field concession (3149 sq. km) was granted to the Gulf Oil Company in October 2007, while the actual drilling works began at the end of May 2010.

By the end of 2010, the company was able to provide basic equipment to link the wells on the production with a production capacity of 5,000 barrels of oil per day, while the second phase of the field’s development was completed with 20,000 barrels of oil per day in 2011.

Libyans denounced Sanalla’s boastful announcement during the inauguration of the oil field as they know that its original opening occurred in 2011. Many have stressed that his announcement is merely an attempt to falsely add a new achievement, and to cover up the major irregularities being committed inside the Libyan corporation.