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Libya’s oil company suspends production after saboteurs attack facility

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Saboteurs attacked oil installations belonging to Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) on Sunday forcing the suspension of oil production from two major fields.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NOC in a statement issued in Tripoli on Sunday, said the company is forced to “declare the state of force majeure in line with standard practice in the oil industry”.

The illicit closure of crude pumping valves from the Al-Sharara and Al-Feel fields puts offline 330,000 barrels per day and leads to a daily loss to the public of more than 160 million Libyan dinars.

“We have been informed that a group of suspicious gangs led by Mohammed Al-Bashir Al-Garj shut down the pumping valves of crude thus making it impossible to fulfil our commitments regarding refined products in the oil market”.

The Chairman added: “Who benefits from these closures which come after the price jump that exceeded $100 per barrel? The same gang closed these valves between 2014 and 2016 which coincided with a similar price boom. Suspicious links and indications strongly suggest that the closures are driven by hidden hands aiming to drag the country into chaos.

Libya’s first productive oil well was struck in 1959 at Amal and Zelten, now known as Nasser. The country began exporting oil in 1961.

Oil sector’s infrastructure has been subjected to illegal attacks, including the disruption of production lines and the destruction of surface equipment in full view of all.

Apart from petroleum, Libya’s other natural resources are natural gas and gypsum. Its economy depends primarily on the oil sector, which represents about 69 per cent of export earnings. Moreover, the oil and gas sector accounts for about 60 per cent of total GDP. Substantial revenues from the energy sector, coupled with a small population, give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa.

The NOC also revealed that it has made an official report of the attack to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to take deterrent and targeted measures to identify the planners, executors and beneficiaries behind this criminal act of theft and sabotage”.

In a related context, the statement also said: “The challenge of closing was not the most difficult or dangerous for the stability of the oil sector and will end, God willing. But it is all the more painful for Libyans that the parties to sedition hampered production at the time of a global price boom. The next steps must be firm and governed by the criminal legal standard and must be criminally prosecuted by the public prosecutor”

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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