Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), has warned in an interview with the Financial Times that the country's oil production is under threat as fighting between the Government of National Accord's (GNA) forces and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, continues.
He indicates that although the NOC has remained independent in this conflict, operating in all parts of the country, if the "fighting persists", then there is a risk that one of the sides might decide to "impact oil production and exports" and use it to its advantage. Sanalla believes this would ruin the fuel supply chain and production on oil fields, thus impeding the barely 1.2 million barrels per day production, sending it back to the 2011 level, when Muammer Gaddafi was killed.
The NOC head is adamant that a severe drop in oil production in Libya would not only harm the country itself, whose exports are 95% made up of oil and gas. The drop in oil output would also make oil prices skyrocket amid sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and OPEC+ cuts, in Sanalla's opinion.
Earlier, LNA spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari announced that terrorist groups might be planning an attack on an oil-rich Libyan coastal area.
Libya has been divided between two factions, the GNA, a UN-supported government controlling the west of the country, and the LNA, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which controls the east. The LNA accuses the GNA of conspiring with terrorists to hold onto power, and last week launched an offensive on the GNA's capital, Tripoli.
The International community has largely called on the sides to cease fighting and instead negotiate a political solution to the crisis that the country has been facing since the overthrow and murder of its former head, Muammer Gaddafi, by militants in Sirte.