| 3 February 2023, Friday |

Libya minister: Absence of a budget puts oil production at risk

The absence of a budget due to differences in parliament is endangering the country’s oil production, the Minister of Oil and Gas in the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Aoun, warned yesterday.

Aoun said in an interview with Bloomberg, that his country “will struggle to maintain its current production of crude oil if lawmakers do not overcome a long dispute and pass the first budget in seven years.”

Libya’s oil production is estimated at 1.3 million barrels per day, with authorities aiming to raise it to 1.5 million by the end of the year, according to the minister.

“The situation depends on the final approval of the unified parliament on the budget amendments for 2021,” Aoun said, adding that “if the budget is not approved, we will face great difficulties in maintaining oil production rates.”

Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and has the largest oil reserves in Africa.

Members of the Libyan House of Representatives have failed to agree on a draft budget over the past four months.

Some parliament members have demanded the inclusion of an item in the budget that allocates salaries to the armed forces, in reference to the militia of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, which are rejected by others.