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NOC faces ‘conspiracy’ hindering budget commitments: Sanalla

The National Oil Corporation is facing “a conspiracy” aimed at undermining its role in providing budgets to achieve economic reforms, Chairperson of the NOC Mustafa Sanalla said Wednesday.

“We are suffering from the delay in approving project budgets, which affects the implementation rate of AGOCO projects,” Sanalla said during a meeting of the General Assembly of Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), a subsidiary of the state-owned NOC, in Benghazi.

He noted that workers in the oil sector are living under difficult circumstances as a result of conspiracies, violations, closure of fields, and terrorism.

He added AGOCO has increased its production through the completion of 81 percent of the maintenance process of its wells, and has progressed in drilling and developing new wells.

After the 2011 uprising, armed groups, tribesmen and regular Libyans tend to vent their anger about inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see “as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in annual oil and gas revenues,” according to Reuters.

On Dec. 8, Libyan tribesmen protested at Sharara oilfield and ceased production in an attempt to have their demands fulfilled.

The movement demands securing of the road linking al-Jafra and al-Shuwairf towns to Fezzan, preserving Fezzan’s water and oil resources, and providing basic medical needs including equipment for Fezzan’s hospitals, according to the group’s spokesperson Mohammad Maighal.

On Dec. 9, head of the Libyan Presidency Council, Faiez Sarraj, visited Sharara oil field and met with representatives of the protest as well as security and military leaders in the region. After the meeting, the president the announced the resumption of work in the field.

The field in Libya’s remote southwest produces around 300,000 barrels per day. It has suffered shutdowns caused by security problems, including raids, kidnappings and blockages by tribesmen and state-paid guards.

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