In a move that threatens to disrupt one of the few still-functioning areas of the Libyan state, two rival arms of the country’s national oil company have issued statements declaring that they are the only body entitled to sell Libyan crude.

The independent operation of National Oil Corporation (NOC) has been one of the few pillars of stability in Libya, facilitating the continued sale of oil and ensuring that the central bank has funds for essential spending such as subsidies on basic consumer goods and government salaries. The neutral role of the central bank has been critical to preventing a further deterioration in the country. Any change in this arrangement, say analysts, would be a serious threat to what little revenues are still flowing into the country (MEES, 13 February). (CONTINUED - 2367 WORDS)