Tripoli, Libya – The group that declared Libya’s eastern region semi-autonomous and is blocking ports handling more than half the country’s oil exports says it wants 15 percent of the revenue from national crude sales.
The Executive Office for the Barqa Region made the demand to the central government and is awaiting a response, Abedrabba Al Baraasi, the chairman of the group, said in an interview Feb. 7 in the town of Ajdabiya. The share is equal to what the region was entitled under the country’s 1951 constitution, he said. The Barqa government, which declared itself semi-autonomous last year, also wants a say in all federal spending, Al Baraasi said.
Forces led by Ibrahim Al Jedran, a former commander of the nation’s Petroleum Facilities Guard, closed four of nine crude-export terminals since the end of July. That includes Es Sider, the nation’s largest oil port. Libyan production fell to 470,000 barrels a day last month, from as much as 1.6 million barrels in 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The self-declared regional government will sell oil as soon as this week at international prices through its Libyan Oil Corp., Al Baraasi said. Oil companies in Turkey and Italy have made inquiries, he said.
The central government of Prime Minister Ali Zaidan warned last month that the navy and air force would sink any tanker trying to load crude sold from the eastern region.