Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Libya’s El Sharara oilfield, pictured in this file photo, can produce 315,000 barrels a day. Reuters
Updated 10 December 2018
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Libya warns of ‘catastrophic’ fallout if protest shuts oilfield

Reuters BENGHAZI: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Sunday of “catastrophic consequences” if production at the El Sharara oilfield is brought to a complete halt by a tribal protest.
Should the 315,000 barrel-a-day field shut down, it would take a long time to bring it back on stream and production from another field would also be affected, the state oil firm said.
“Shutting down production at the El Sharara field will have catastrophic, long-term consequences. It would take a long time to resume production because of the sabotage and theft that are likely to happen,” NOC said in a statement.
Tribesmen stormed into the field premises on Saturday, saying their southern Fezzan region had suffered decades of neglect and demanding that the revenue from the oil produced at local fields be used to fund development projects.
NOC said that the storage tanks at the field would be completely full within hours of its statement, forcing the field to shut down as it cannot pump the crude out to processing facilities.
The company described the protesters as “criminals” because they had stopped the pumps from functioning.
“The company would then have to implement an emergency plan to evacuate the staff from the field,” it said in a statement.
If El Sharara stops operating, production at the El Feel oilfield, also in southern Libya, would also stop because El Sharara supplies it with power and the supply to the Zawiya refinery on the coast would also be interrupted, it said.
NOC accused security guards on Saturday of having facilitated the “occupation” of the field.
The tribesmen call themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement. Their spokesman, Mohamed Maighal, said that they would allow crude oil already extracted to be put into storage tanks, but would then force production to be stopped.
NOC has previously tried to avert such action through talks.


Emirates NBD profit surges on asset sale and forex gains

Updated 20 min 19 sec ago
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Emirates NBD profit surges on asset sale and forex gains

  • Dubai’s largest bank reports 80 percent rise in net profit for second quarter

DUBAI: Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, reported an 80 percent rise in second-quarter net profit helped by the sale of a stake in Network International and strong non-interest income on foreign exchange gains.

The result included a gain of 2.1 billion dirhams ($572 million) from the sale of a stake in digital payment provider Network International in an initial public offering in London in April.

The earnings showed that top banks in the UAE have still withstood strains from a sluggish economy and a property downturn in Dubai.

Second-quarter net profit jumped 80 percent to 4.74 billion dirhams. EFG Hermes had expected a net profit of 4.06 billion in the second quarter.

The bank said net interest income rose 6 percent in the second-quarter from a year earlier, as growth in assets offset a drop in net interest rate margins.

Non-interest income surged 23 percent, helped by gains in foreign exchange income and investment banking activities.

Provisioning for bad debts more than doubled to 656 million dirhams in the second quarter from a year earlier.

The bank said the cost of risk had increased in 2019 to a more normalized level from relatively better credit quality conditions in 2018.

Cost of risk reflects the price a lender pays to manage its risk exposure. In 2018, Emirates NBD signaled that it expected cost of risk to revert to a long-term level of 80-100 basis points from the 63 basis points seen in 2018.

“The increased cost of risk of 82 basis points in H1 2019 is a result of an expectation of a reversion of credit quality to more normalized levels from the benign conditions in 2018, coupled with the expectation of lower write-backs and recoveries,” it said.

Credit-rating agency Moody’s had warned earlier this year provisioning charges for top banks in the UAE will increase in 2019 owing to pressure in the property and the retail sectors.

The Dubai lender said its net profit surged 49 percent in the first half of the year. “Core operating profit advanced 8 percent compared to the first half of 2018, helped by loan growth, higher foreign exchange income and increased investment banking activity,” the bank’s chief executive Shayne Nelson said in a statement.

Nelson said that the bank continued to make progress on the acquisition of Turkey’s Denizbank and expects this transaction to close in the third quarter of 2019.

Emirates NBD said in April that it was buying Denizbank from Russia’s Sberbank at a roughly 20 percent discount to a previously agreed price, after a steep fall in the Turkish lira.