Libya will face a financial crisis and a budget deficit in 2020 because of a blockade of oil terminals and oil fields by groups loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar, the head of Libya’s internationally recognised government said on Saturday.
Libya’s oil output has fallen sharply in the past month after the blockade started on January 18th. On Thursday the state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that the crude output had dropped to 163,684 barrels per day.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj told reporters that in light of the continued closure of oil facilities, the 2020 budget will face a deficit and oil output will drop to its lowest levels.
Serraj echoed the NOC figures, saying that the country had lost more than $1.4 billion since the start of the blockade.
“We warned against using oil as a pressure card,” said Serraj, adding that his government had started legal action to hold those who blockade the oil accountable. He gave no more details.
The NOC warned earlier that oil output would eventually fall to 72,000 bpd if the blockade continued, from about 1.2 million bpd previously.