Questions Arise over Libya's Finances

But the last statement did not provide any figures on the size of this reserve at the beginning of last December, raising questions at a time when the financial institution has avoided discussing the country’s holdings abroad. But Ali al-Hibri, the governor of Libya’s central bank, noted in a broadcast interview conducted in Paris that the country’s reserves are held in 38 countries, though he did not specify the amount.

In light of these facts, figures and questions, it is possible to deduce that Libya, whose oil production normally amounts to 1.6 million barrels per day according to the Libyan National Institute for Oil, produced over 650,000 barrels of oil last month. The earnings were placed in accounts abroad so that the armed groups, major smugglers and some members of the battling rival governments could not get their hands on it. Moreover, the central bank governor noted that Libya’s current oil reserves amount to 34 billion barrels.

Given the above, the discussion of Libya’s bankruptcy is irrational and subjective, especially if we take into account the fact that the population of the country does not exceed 6.5 million, including those working abroad. It is also important to consider that its natural gas resources have yet to be exploited, including the natural resources of its 2,000-kilometer [1,242-mile] coast running from Salloum in Egypt to Ras Ajdir in Tunisia, the mineral resources in the desert, the agricultural lands in al-Jabal al-Akhdar and more.

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