SUMMARY: Libyan Finance Minister Alkilani Abdelkarim al-Jazi has said that Tripoli could start using financial reserves from next month if prolonged protests crippling the oil sector are not resolved.
Libya is losing about $130 million a day due to a combination of strikes and the blocking by militias and political activists since July of most oilfields and ports.
Production has fallen by up to 90%, although some facilities in southwestern Libya were re-opened this week.
Earlier this year, Tripoli had returned to oil production of around 1.6 million barrels per day — the level before the 2011 uprising againt the Qaddafi regime — bringing in $4 billion a month.
Libya’s budget for 2013 is 67 billion dinars ($54 billion), to be financed largely by oil exports. The country has more than $100 billion in foreign reserves, and its sovereign wealth fund has assets of $60 billion.
Asked where the government would draw money from first, Jazi said: “First to the surplus in unused balances (of government spending). It’s enough for the rest of the year….We have reserves, we have other accounts aside, we have balances in many government agencies – unused cash balances.”
After meeting British counterpart David Cameron in London on Monday, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on Monday appealed for international help to restore security in Libya.