#Country Updates #Libya #News #Upstream Oil & Gas News

Libya’s New Unity Government Reignites National Oil Sector

Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 – Libya’s national ruler for 42 years – the country has experienced over a decade of violent civil war, in which opposing factions from the East and the West have led to a state of persistent political and social upheaval. Despite holding the largest proven oil reserves in Africa – estimated at 48.3 billion barrels – and approximately 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas,  civil conflict has resulted in several facility shutdowns as well as damage of critical oil fields. However, with the swearing-in of a new Unity Government on March 15, 2021 – a pivotal moment in the country’s history – key opportunities for the growth of the domestic oil and gas sector have arisen, driven by enhanced political stability and strong governmental support.  

Libya’s oil and gas sector accounted for 69% of export earnings in 2019 and approximately 60% of its GDP.  To restore economic stability and ensure the effective monetization of its natural resources, the Unity Government is positioning oil and gas at the forefront of its administration, using sectoral revitalization as a driving force for socioeconomic growth. By restructuring the sector internally,  rebuilding regional ties and targeting increased output, Libya is on its way to re-establishing itself as a global competitor in the international oil and gas arena.  

Internal Reforms Lead the Way 

In a bid to improve its oil and gas sector, the new administration has enacted a series of reforms to streamline sectoral activities and enhance production. Notably, the government has re-established its Ministry of Oil and Gas and appointed Libya’s former OPEC representative, Mohamed Aoun, as the new minister, a position that had been vacant since 2012. The establishment of the Ministry allows for the realization of benefits that accompany the return of national sovereignty to the sector. Specifically, the Ministry paves the way for long-awaited regulatory reforms, in which streamlined, oil- and gas-specific legislation will invite increased foreign investment and collaboration.  

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Source: AfricaOilandPower

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