On Tuesday, July 7, Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh signed Decree 642/2022, which removed from office with immediate effect the entire board of directors of the National Oil Corporation (“NOC”) – including long-time NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla. Former Libyan Central Bank Chairman Farhat Bengdara was appointed as Mr. Sanalla’s replacement.
Mr. Sanalla is resisting his removal as illegitimate and is challenging this decision before the Court of Appeal in Tripoli (administrative division). During a hearing held today (17th August 2022) the case has been adjourned until 7th Sep 2022.
As Libyan Oil Minister Mohamed Emhamed Aoun has been strongly supportive of Mr. Bengdara’s appointment, Mr. Sanalla’s legal challenge appears unlikely to succeed in the short to medium term. Moreover, most of NOC’s subsidiaries and affiliates have already publicly acknowledged Mr. Bengdara’s appointment.