“There is a restructuring of the management of the energy sector,” says the executive. “All downstream production will be under ESDF. The new set-up will consider how best to utilise the country’s natural resources as an investment.”

ESDF, which holds stakes in all of Libya’s downstream oil and gas projects, will take over from state energy firm National Oil Corporation (NOC), which currently runs the oil and gas sector, including upstream exploration and extraction, downstream refining and the production of petrochemicals.

Until September, NOC had a degree of autonomy from state control under the leadership of its chairman, Shokri Ghanem.

Ghanem left NOC in September, however, and in October Libya set up a new body, the Supreme Council of Energy Affairs, to oversee the running of the sector, from setting production targets to negotiating contracts with international oil companies.

ESDF will take over the running of downstream industries, with the aim of creating investment opportunities for international companies.

The authorities have yet to set a date for ESDF’s takeover of the country’s refineries and petrochemicals plants, but the fund expects the change to take place before the end of this year, says the executive.