Libya's oil production revival continues to be hampered by the wider conflicts and instability roiling the country.
The head of Libya's National Oil Corp. (NOC) has warned a lack of money for the organization and disruptions by armed groups undermines what some analysts describe as a surprising uptick in production over the past year.
Earlier this month, an armed group believed to be local tribesman shut down the El Sharara oil field, the largest in the country. It remained closed for two days as the group demanded back pay, the release of detained tribe members and supply of fuel to the region, according to Bloomberg.
Separately, NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said that the corporation had only received a quarter of its 2017 budget. This made his previously announced target of 1.25 million barrels per day by year-end “very difficult” to achieve, Reuters reported.
This announced target comes on the heels of a four-fold leap in production to 1 million barrels a day.
But without sufficient investment, output would dip, Sanalla said.
Federica Saini Fasanotti, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institute, said she was not surprised at reports of turmoil in the oil industry in the country.
"The problems that Sanalla [is] having with oil is just the symptom of a deeper disease," Fasanotti told Maghreb News Wire.
"The country is out of control, militias have filled the vacuum created after the Gaddafi's fall, and to make matters worse, they are heavily armed," she added. "Every militia."
"The top interests of smugglers is oil and human beings," Fasanotti said. "In a country where there is not police -- and any kind of security force (national or local) they have the perfect terrain to make their deals."
And, she argues, oil is not enough to make Libya's economy work.
"Libyans must create infrastructures and all the things that define a nation," she said.