Come clean on oil, HRW tells Libya

April 7, 2011 at 9:12 AM
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NEW YORK, April 7 (UPI) -- The transitional opposition authority in Libya should open its books on any oil revenue it receives from regional consumers, Human Rights Watch said.

The rebel-backed transitional council in Libya announced April 1 that it struck a deal with Qatar for oil exports. Meanwhile, an oil tanker with a 1 million-barrel capacity arrived in eastern Libya to take on the first crude oil shipments since the conflict erupted in late February.

Human Rights Watch said the Libyan people have a right to know about transactions in the energy sector despite the fight for control in the country.

Arvind Ganesan, a business and human rights director at the watchdog group, said in a statement that the transitional council should comply with international transparency standards for sales of crude oil and natural gas.

"Any emerging Libyan authority should break with past practice in Libya and open the books on oil and gas transactions," he said. "Failure to do so could lead to continued mismanagement and corruption."

Human Rights Watch called on the transitional authority in eastern Libya to provide full documentation of all future oil and gas transactions.

Oil prices are at post-recession highs in part because of declines in Libyan oil production. Libya before the conflict was one of the top oil exporters in Africa.

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