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Libya's $2bn financial 'black hole' in oil revenues

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Libya's Ministry of Finance had to explain a 30 percent drop in oil revenues for the first quarter of 2017 on Monday, reported The New Arab (UK).
Official statistics show there was a 44 percent drop in revenue, as only 3.03 billion dinars ($2.2 billion) was raised, while it was expected to be 5.42 billion ($3.87 billion).

This created a shortfall of 2.4 billion dinars ($1.7 billion) which has of yet not been explained in full.
According to the government's figures for the first quarter, the Central Bank of Libya gave the finance ministry a loan of 4.8 billion dinars ($3.4 billion) to help plug the gap.

Fighting erupted in Libya's 'oil crescent' in the first few months of 2017, as various military factions vied for control over the country's vital oil terminals.
Forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, who controls the country's east, fought with Islamist fighters over the terminals in March, preventing the flow of oil and seriously reducing exports.

Libya's de facto oil minister, Mustafa Sanalla, told a conference of investors in London in November it was "essential" that western companies helped finance security forces at the terminals to keep the oil flowing.
Libya is the 170th most corrupt nation out of 175 countries in the world, according to Transparency International's 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index.

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Libya will lose almost $10 million a day the National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned tonight after news the Wafa gas field production has again been blocked, reported Libya Herald.

An unidentified armed group yesterday shut down the pipeline, Walid Al-Bakush from the NOC’s media office told the Libya Herald. He did not give the location of the block.
Last month, members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard blocked the pipeline near the Ruwais power station, claiming they had not been paid.

NOC today also warned that because Wafa was connected to the Algerian Alrar oil field underground, Libya could lose large quantities of its reserves to its neighbour.
The NOC also said the reopening of the field will be expensive due to technical complexity of restarting the flow of gas.
The Wafa gas field is operated by Mellitah Oil & Gas Company, NOC’s joint-venture with Italian company Eni.

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Forces loyal to the rebel general in control of east Libya, Khalifa Haftar, are reportedly enforcing an immigration ban against nationals from six Muslim-majority countries, reported The New Arab (UK).
A missive, signed by an official at al-Abraq International Airport, forbids entry to all passport-holders from Yemen, Sudan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran and Syria.

"Large numbers of travellers, especially Syrians and Pakistanis, do not hold residency permits or visas," the order reads.

Captain Munir al-Harram, assistant to the head of passport control at the airport, confirmed the existence of the order to Libya's al-Wasat News.
The order quotes a "decree from the general commander of the Libyan army" and is dated the April 4.

Haftar's forces have been engaged in a prolonged war with Islamist fighters in Benghazi and other areas of east Libya over the a two-year period.

Haftar has been fighting against the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, which he has referred to as a "terrorist group", drawing resources from the UAE in his fight.

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The Hafter’s Libyan National Army’s success in defeating militants in Benghazi has significantly reduced the dangers from terrorism and enabled Libya to reunite and solve its problems, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said today, reported Libya Herald.

The prince, who is deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, was speaking during a visit to Abu Dhabi by Field Marshal Khalifa.

Expressing his appreciation for the role played by the LNA in fighting terrorism, which he called was a “disease” affecting the entire region, he spoke of the “co-ordination” between his country and Libya in fighting terrorist organisations. He added that the UAE would continue its efforts to unite Libyans and support their efforts to combat such extremism.

The crown prince and Hafter, who is expected to remain in the UAE for several days, also discussed ways of strengthening and developing relations between the two countries.

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