The Libyan oil minister again suspends the head of the National Oil Corporation from work

The Libyan oil ministry said on Tuesday that the minister has again suspended Mustafa Sanalla, head of the National Oil Corporation, from work on charges of administrative irregularities, in the context of a dispute that could undermine efforts to rebuild the sector. oil.

damaged production Libyan oilIt is an important source of income in the country, due to the decades-long conflict and political chaos, but production has slowly begun to recover with the return of a semblance of order and stability.

Oil Minister Mohamed Aoun is a member of the UN-backed National Accord Government approved by parliament in March. Sanalla, who has worked for the National Oil Corporation and its subsidiaries for years, assumed the presidency of its board of directors in 2014.

Analysts see the conflict between them as a struggle for power over the oil sector and its policies. This is the second time since last August that Aoun has tried to isolate Sanalla.

The ministry, in his capacity on Facebook, quoted the minister stating that Sanalla was suspended from work for “failure to comply with the procedures and controls to obtain prior permission to carry out any official work mission”, without specifying the type of mission. .

Aoun said Sanalla did not transfer sovereign administrative affairs from the institution to the ministry and added that his actions would be investigated.

The National Oil Corporation press office said in a statement to Reuters that the company “works according to the correct law” and under government supervision.

“This problem has already happened and the national unity government has made the right decision that protects the National Oil Corporation and the Libyan economy,” the statement added.

Aoun had announced the suspension of Sanalla in August. In September, the foundation said the prime minister had overturned the decision and noted “efforts to address the differences between the two sides.”

Sources in the oil industry said the chairman of the company’s board of directors continued to perform his duties during this period.

Sanalla and Aoun did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

On Monday, state television reported that Libya’s crude oil production amounted to 1.3 million barrels per day, close to the 1.6 million barrels per day level the country produced prior to the 2011 uprising that overthrow of the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

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