UN-backed Government in Libya Starved of $2 Billion in Oil Revenues
Financial losses for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya due to fighting over the country’s oil resources have surpassed $2 billion, as forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) continue to choke off supplies in a bid to starve the GNA of revenues. According to Arab media, powerful tribes that support the LNA one month ago seized large oil-export terminals and cut off major pipelines, leading to a massive drop in production from about 1.2 million barrels a day to some 120,000. Haftar’s troops control most of eastern and southern Libya, and for almost a year have been waging an assault on the capital Tripoli, the seat of the GNA. While OPEC-member Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, the drop in output thus far has had little impact on global markets, as consumers such as China have turned to purchasing US shale oil. Nevertheless, the lack of revenue is liable to have an impact on the GNA’s ability to provide basic services to those living under its control in addition to funding armed groups currently defending Tripoli.