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Would a UN-backed government save Libya's oilfields?

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By Catherine Hardy
Would a UN-backed government save Libya's oilfields?

Oilfields in Libya are likely to come under further attack unless a United Nations-backed government is approved.

The comments come from the head of the National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla.

He spoke out after ISIL militants targeted the Fida oil field last Friday.

The context

Experts say Libya is rapidly turning into a new front in the fight against ISIL.

The organisation is trying to exploit the years of chaos in the country to expand its foothold in the oil-rich, North African nation.

Forging a unified government is a monumental task. Libya has effectively been a failed state since the death of Muammar Gadaffi in 2011.

Post-Gaddafi, the country was carved up by powerful militias.

There are currently two governments. One is based in the capital, Tripoli, is dominated by Islamists and backed by a coalition of militias.

The other is internationally-recognised and based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

In numbers

  • Total production is 360-370,000 barrels per day
  • This is less than 25% of the 1.6 million BPD Libya was producing before the 2011 uprising
  • 100,000 BPD for domestic consumption, the rest exported

“If there is no new government, I think the situation will get worse. I believe there will be more attacks on the oil facilities.”Mustafa Sanalla