Libya’s oil production has dropped to 300,000 b/d, less than a quarter of what it produced before the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi, mostly because of insecurity and closed pipelines, a top official said according to Reuters.
The North African state is caught in a conflict between two rival governments and their armed allies –one internationally recognised, and the other a self-declared administration that took over Tripoli last year.
Naji Moghrab, the top state oil official with the recognised government, told a local television channel late on Sunday output was at 300,000 bpd because of fighting between various armed factions and the closure of 50,000 km of oil pipeline.
Following the government split, Libya now has two rival state oil companies. One is with the recognised government and one with the Tripoli government, yielding often conflicting accounts of who controls what oil assets.
“The main problem behind the low production is insecurity, and of course the presence of Daesh near the oilfields,” Moghrab said, referring the Islamic State militants who have gained ground in Libya in the chaos.
One week before, militants from the so called Islamic State attacked forces guarding one of Libya’s main oil ports lwith a gun assault and an attempted car bomb.