First come, first served for Libyan oil

April 22, 2011 at 7:44 AM
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CAIRO, April 22 (UPI) -- International energy companies backing Libyan rebels will come out ahead in a post-Gadhafi environment, a Libyan energy adviser said.

The conflict in Libya, one of Africa's top oil producers, helped push oil prices to two-year highs. Libyan oil is trickling out of rebel ports, though the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said much of the production is shut by the war.

Libyan oil plays a dominant role in southern European markets. Italian company Eni said it was working with the rebels shortly after Rome recognized a transitional council as the legitimate leadership.

Youssef Rahim Sharif, an adviser to rebel-held Agoco oil company, was quoted by Voice of America as saying the rebel leadership could handle the energy sector after the regime collapsed.

"We have all the technical staff -- all Libyans who will be able to run the oil industry and run it (well)," he said.

A post-Gadhafi Libya, he added, would work primarily with the international companies that supported the Libyan revolution.

"And these will be the ones who will be given the first benefits to be our partners in rebuilding Libya in the best way," he said.

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