Libyan Oil Minister responds to Tunisian President's remarks about Bouri oilfield
In the first official Libyan response to Tunisian President Kais Saied's statements regarding his country's entitlement to the Bouri oilfield, the Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammed Oun explained that the case of the Bouri oilfield was decided by a ruling from the International Court of Justice, determining that Libya had the right to the oilfield in a ruling issued in 1982.
Oun indicated that maritime borders between Libya and Tunisia are defined, and the ruling came based on a Libyan-Tunisian agreement. He added that what came in the Tunisian president's statements regarding the Bouri field was a fallacy. He added that maybe Saied meant the continental shelf in which the two countries enjoy a partnership, saying they had established a company for the two countries to exploit the oil and gas resources of the shelf under the name "Joint Oil" in 1988, but it hasn't started work since. Oun also indicated that the response to these Tunisian statements is supposed to come from the highest hierarchy of the Libyan state.
Saied said that Tunisia only got little benefits from the Bouri oilfield, adding that there was an intention to divide the field into two halves with Libya, but this proposal was retracted, remarking in a statement during his visit to the headquarters of the Tunisian Petroleum Activities Corporation, that after January 1974, the date of the declaration of unity between Tunisia and Libya, the proposal for sharing was rejected by the Tunisian side, and Libya brought in an American company that was on the verge of bankruptcy and laid a platform for oil extraction, hence; Libyan-Tunisian relations were again filled with tension.
The Tunisian president acknowledged that the former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mahmoud Riyad, mediated between the two countries and agreed with them to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice.
The Bouri oilfield is located 120 kilometers north of the Libyan coast, and produces about 23,000 barrels of oil per day. It is managed by the Mellitah Oil and Gas Company in partnership with the Italian company Eni.