The US plan for Libyan oil: “Free zone to protect wells” – La Stampa


Demilitarize the Libyan oil crescent. This is the plan on which the United States is aiming to bring black gold production back to normal in the North African country, after the closure of the wells decided on January 18 by Khalifa Haftar. And it is one of the hypotheses being examined by the government of a national agreement led by Fayez al Sarraj, sources from Tripoli report. The division of the national energy bazaar is the game in which, with the progressive freezing of the conflict, the reference shareholders of the Libyan dossier, or Turkey, lined up with Sarraj, and Egypt, the Emirates and Russia, the sponsors of General Haftar, are confronting each other. And from which Italy cannot remain excluded given the essential national interests represented, above all, by Eni. The game also sees Washington’s rediscovered activism – after prolonged removal from the dossier – where the idea of ​​creating a demilitarized zone in the strip of territory south of the coastal area between Sirte and Benghazi has matured. Creating a free zone to protect the heritage of all Libyans is also a way, read by the American prism, to curb Moscow’s long hand on the Libyan treasure, after the incursion of the mercenaries of the Russian society Wagner in the Shahara camp. An intimidating message addressed to the NOC, according to its president Mustafa Sanalla, given that the national oil authority is in charge of managing the proceeds from crude oil.

The game is complex, as evidenced by the sudden closure of the wells after the Noc, on 10 July, had announced the lifting of the block on crude oil exports, thus allowing a first, partial recovery of production. The cold shower came 48 hours later with Ahmed al Mismari, Haftar’s right-hand man: “The opening of ports for the transport of crude oil is limited to an already stored quantity, the deposits will remain closed until the requests of the Libyan people will be satisfied. ” An act of “external interference”, the US say with regret and with serious consequences: compared to the 1.2 million barrels produced at regular regimes in the country, a minimum of 80 thousand of them were produced, with a net loss of two billions of dollars per month or 24 billion dollars compared to a Libyan budget which in 2019 was 56.3 billion dollars, to which are added the collapses of the related industries.

“In fact, there is no agreement on the distribution of proceeds,” explains Daniele Ruvinetti, an expert on Libyan dynamics and strategic consultant for international companies. «From what transpires, the revenues should be put on a blocked third party account for at least four months for a period of at least four months. During which, the parties should agree on the distribution of proceeds between Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan “. A complex goal: Haftar does not want to leave the management of the proceeds to the Noc because it is aligned with the capital and Tripoli does not agree in giving money to the general to finance his war drifts. While Turkey demands before each ceasefire the general’s withdrawal from Sirte and Al Jufra. In this sense, the work of seduction by the United States towards the Emirates, the fiercest sponsors of the strong man of Cyrenaica, will be essential, a crucial step in whose success the Trump administration has placed its trust in giving life to the new demilitarized zone in the disputed desert. Libyan.

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