Libya: Internal Dispute Over Oil Management

2 Min Read

A significant dispute has erupted regarding the management of the nation’s hydrocarbons, specifically within the internationally recognized government based in Tripoli. This conflict involves the reinstated Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohamed Aoun, and a deputy undersecretary who continues to exert authority over the sector, which accounts for 95% of the state’s budget.

On May 12th, 2024, the Libyan Administrative Control Authority officially reinstated Mohamed Aoun to his position as Minister of Oil and Gas. However, Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah maintains that the interim replacement, Deputy Undersecretary Rajab Abdesadek, retains control over the oil sector.

Despite Aoun’s reinstatement, he has been unable to resume his duties fully as Abdesadek, appointed by the Prime Minister, continues to occupy the ministerial role. This situation has created significant tension within the Libyan government.

In response, Mohamed Aoun has issued a formal protest to the Administrative Control Authority, demanding full restoration to his position. It is noteworthy that this same authority suspended Aoun in March amid controversies surrounding oil agreements.

Rajab Abdesadek, currently serving as a member of the Administrative Council of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), continues to perform ministerial functions, which is in direct violation of existing laws.

This power struggle has led to confusion and concern among foreign investors, especially as Libya prepares to sign new exploration contracts. Despite Aoun leading oil-related meetings and holding the official ministerial seal, the Dbeibah government has informed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that Abdesadek will continue to represent Libya as its oil minister.

Libya, holding Africa’s largest oil reserves and currently its top producer, aims to boost production to 1.4 million barrels per day by the end of the year and to 2 million barrels per day by 2025. However, the ongoing administrative turmoil poses risks to these ambitious targets.


Share this Article