In a speech on October 24, 2018, Eng. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), asserted that Libya’s future is dependent on the unity of the oil and gas sector, and the rebuild of the economy through robust oil revenues.
In an opening address at the inaugural Benghazi International Forum and Exhibition of Oil and Gas, Sanalla expressed his happiness to be in Benghazi, the city of his birth, paying tribute to its potential as one of the most important regional oil and gas hubs. He described the forum as ‘an important step, encouraging the return of further investment and international partners to work in Libya,’ and their potential role in the enhancement of production capacity, and oil revenues.
Sanalla highlighted recent challenges facing NOC, including attacks on oil fields and NOC’s headquarters, in addition to numerous divisive false electronic media campaigns. He stated that none of these efforts had achieved their goal, but had only increased the determination of NOC and its employees to help re-build Libya. The NOC chairman went on to remind the audience that NOC’s success affects every Libyan:
“We are all aware that the future of Libya, of our children and the unity of our beloved country depend almost entirely on the success and unity of NOC….Libya relies entirely on oil exports to secure the basic needs of our people, from public sector salaries to every pill that can save a child's life.”
Describing the workers of the oil and gas sectors as the ‘cornerstone of the country,’ Sanalla extolled their efforts: “You are an example for all Libyans. Your years of personal sacrifice and collective actions on behalf of NOC, putting the interests of Libya above your own, are a lesson and an example for every Libyan - from ordinary citizens to the grandest politicians.”
Sanalla also highlighted the importance of the entire population feeling the benefits of NOC’s work:
“I would like to use this opportunity to stress the importance of transparency to ensure the fair distribution of oil revenues across the country. Every Libyan citizen has the right to see how every dinar of their oil wealth is spent.”
Chairman Sanalla thanked the security forces, who guaranteed the safety of the event, the organising committee, and event sponsors, including OMV and Schlumberger, and other forum participants.
He stated his hope that the event would serve as a catalyst for the development of an advanced technology-based energy industry. He concluded by looking forward to the completion of NOC’s state of the art building project in Benghazi; describing it as highly ambitious for the entire region, and one which would contribute to the advancement of the sector - both in Benghazi, and nationally.