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What Happened To Malta’s National Oil Corporation?

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Back in 2017, soon after winning its second election, the government of Joseph Muscat set up a National Oil Corporation in line with a manifesto pledge to set up an agency to focus on oil exploration.

The NOC was set up under the stewardship of Maria Micallef who had been unceremoniously removed from chairing Air Malta by Konrad Mizzi once he replaced Edward Zammit Lewis as Tourism Minister.

However, it turns out that Micallef resigned her role in the NOC back in 2019 and the Corporation has since been defunct. While it now technically falls under the responsibility of the Finance Ministry, nobody has replaced Micallef and the NOC is “inactive”, according to a source within the Office of the Prime Minister.

Last week Prime Minister Robert Abela pledged not to call an election until all of Labour’s manifesto was completed. It is not clear whether this pledge is being counted as having been completed.

The last time the Maltese public heard of oil exploration was in July 2019 when Malta awarded an oil exploration license to Edison International. It is not known whether anything materialised from this license.

Do you think Malta can ever find oil?

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Christian is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who founded Lovin Malta, a new media company dedicated to creating positive impact in society. He is passionate about justice, public finances and finding ways to build a better future.

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