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Swiss oil trader Vitol may supply Libya with fuel

Libya's National Oil Co. said it could serve as a model for unity.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Swiss oil trader Vitol may supply Libya with fuel
Oil trader Vitol seeking fuel supply contract with neutral Libya National Oil Corp.. Photo by Steve Allen/Shutterstock

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The future of oil-rich Libya and its energy supplies may depend in part on the independence of the country's National Oil Corp., Swiss oil trader Vitol said.

Vitol, the largest company of its kind in the world, said it was working on a supply contract with the NOC that will guarantee the delivery of fuel, including the heavy oil needed to supply all of Libya's power plants and hospitals.

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"The U.N. Security Council recently said it was important for NOC to continue to function for the benefit of all Libyans," Vitol Chief Executive Officer Ian Taylor said in a statement. "The key word there is 'continue'. NOC, based at its legal address in Tripoli, has served Libya well by staying independent. We are confident it will continue to do so."

Libya has been divided by the political entities that filled the void left by the collapse of Moammar Gadhafi's government in the wake of 2011 civil war. A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the country is split along lines of control from an Islamist-backed administration in Tripoli and an internationally recognized government in the east of the country.

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The governments of Algeria, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint statement Friday commending a vote made by Libyan lawmakers in support of a government of national accord.

"Only a government of national accord can begin the difficult work of establishing effective, legitimate governance, restoring stability, and preserving the unity of the country, as expected by all Libyans," the statement read.

Vitol has worked with the NOC this year on fuel deliveries. The company's chairman, Mustafa Sanalla, said NOC can serve as a model for national unity.

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"Libya is at a critical juncture," he said in a statement. "A peace can be built around state institutions like NOC, but will be harder to achieve if they fragment. They must be kept intact."

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