Libya’s Domestic Situation and Oil Production: A 3-Month Outlook


    Despite Libya restoring its oil production to the levels previous to the blockade; the country still suffers from great political instability. Tensions and dispute between the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) under Prime Minister Dbeibeh, and the Government of National Stability (GNA) under Prime Minister Bashagha still continue. This environment threatens to plunge Libya back into conflict.

    Key Judgment 1: It is almost certain that the domestic dispute will continue in the next 3 months, hampering any possibility of holding elections.

    • There is an ongoing dispute for the control of government between the Tripoli-based GNU and the Cyrenaica-based GNA [source].
    • Political turmoil is ongoing since the 2011 assassination of Qaddafi [source].
    • The last oil blockade and each government’s international alliances jeopardizes the political progress Libya had achieved in 2021 [source].
    • The prevailing stalemate over political control has thwarted efforts to hold national elections [source].
    • While Russia supports Tobruk-based Commander Haftar, loyal to Baghasha, Turkey has been a significant supporter of the GNU [source].
    • Libya is incapable of getting rid of corruption and war [source].
    • Libyan politicians are reliant on both local support and international backers [source].
    • Despite Libya’s alliances being volatile, Russia has cohabited with Libyan elites’ reluctance to conduct elections [source].
    • Abu Dhabi’s close ties with Commander-in-Chief Haftar and his associates have been the most stable elements of the Libyan Crisis in recent years [source].
    • Although two men claim the prime minister’s post, both sides depend on oil wealth [source].

    Key Judgment 2: Despite Libya producing crude oil to its highest levels before the Russian invasion, it is likely this increase will be unsustainable in the next 3 months. 

    • Libya has restored oil production to pre-pandemic levels [source].
    • Political upheaval threatens the nation’s top export [source].
    • This conflictive environment included the shutdown of the biggest oil field cutting production this last spring [source].
    • The blockade of El Feel and Sharara oil fields deprived Libya of 300,000 bpd and over 34,69$ million dollars [source].
    • Farhat Bengdara’s appointment as the new head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) represents an opportunity for the Tripoli-based government to exert more control over energy resources [source].
    • The lack of outcry over Mr. Sanallah’s dismissal from the NOC suggests the international community will accept the change of leadership [source].

    Key Judgment 3: It is almost certain that Turkey will continue to be the dominant actor within Libya’s energy sector in the next 3 months.

    Competing claims over the Eastern Mediterranena (source).
    • Turkey and Libya’s GNU signed a deal on maritime energy explorations on the 3th of October 2022 [source].
    • The agreements will allow for oil and gas exploration in an area within Libyan waters, which Athens partially claims [source].
    • Ankara and Tripoli also signed a military cooperation accord and a series of preliminary economic agreements [source].
    • Turkish FM Minister Çavuşoğlu and Libyan FM Mangoush signed different memorandums of understanding [source].
    • Cyrenaica-based Prime Minister Bashagha, Greece, Egypt and even the EU have criticized and opposed the agreement [source].
    • Greece and Egypt jointly expressed their decision to oppose any activity in the disputed areas of the Eastern Mediterranean [source]. 
    • Prime Minister Dbeibeh stated that Ankara and Tripoli are aligned to mobilize the international support needed to hold elections [source].

    Intelligence Cut-Off Date: 2nd of December 2022 

    Ignacio Urrutia
    Ignacio Urrutia
    Ignacio is a Spanish intelligence analyst passionate and with deep knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe and MENA. As part of his Master in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies, he is specializing in intelligence, defence and new warfare.

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