Due to the action of the international community, the Indian vessel Distya Ameya, which was illegally attempting to export Libyan oil, has this morning at 9am local time returned its unlawful cargo to Libya.
It has been directed to discharge at Zawiya refinery upon our request, where the oil will be used for the benefit of all Libyans. The vessel will complete the discharge within the next days.
I would like to thank all the people involved for helping to bring about a swift and safe resolution of this matter.
This incident is a clear warning to all ship owners and trading companies that oil exports from Libya by any other entity than the National Oil Corporation of Libya are illegal and will be stopped.
The Libyan individuals behind this attempt risked splitting the country by their reckless actions.
Let us be clear, that is what is at stake.
I believe in the unity of Libya. As one nation we need to agree that our oil should not be divided at this stage of our political evolution, because this will lead to the country itself being divided. This is missing from the Libyan Political Agreement, and perhaps it should have been at the heart of it.
In the past days, Mr. Ali el-Hibri met with the Presidency Council to discuss liquidity shortages and the Banks problems in the East. This is the right forum to direct questions of national equality. Our job at the NOC is to ensure the maximum revenue for the Central Bank of Libya. The Central Bank distributes money in the country. Dividing the NOC will not mean there will be more money from oil. In fact, I can guarantee it will mean there will be less.
Where there are shortages in our wealthy country we need to understand why they have come about.
In the last three years, we have lost close to $75 billion up to April 2016 due to blockades at our oil ports and oil pipelines by militias. That is $20,000 for every adult in this country. This is the money that could be rebuilding the country, providing for basic needs, medicines and healthcare, electricity, education and so on, in the East, the West and the South.
At present, over one million barrels per day of oil production is shut down for political reasons.
Since the revolution, we at the NOC have ensured we do not favor one group of people in Libya over another. Our only political agenda, if you can call it that, is to promote the unity and prosperity of the whole country.
We can double our production – and national revenues – within a matter of months if the blockades are lifted. We have a plan to bring oil production back to pre-revolution levels.
Libya has the potential to be the richest country in Africa and one of the richest countries in the world. But we will not get there by following the example of the Argument behind the Distya Ameya.
NOC – April 30, 2016 Tripoli