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Hall reports: "Before the war, Libya provided about 1.1 million to 1.6 million barrels per day, roughly about 2 percent of the world's daily oil demand. But while that production made Libya only the world's 17th largest oil producer, it has the largest proven reserves in Africa and it played an outsized role in supplying Western Europe, where refineries easily process its lighter grade of crude."

The collapse of Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya may help reduce US gasoline prices. (photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP)
The collapse of Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya may help reduce US gasoline prices. (photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP)



Oil Companies Plan Quick Return to Libya

By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers

23 August 11

 

ith the regime of Moammar Gadhafi on the verge of collapse, international oil companies began preparing Monday for what they hope will be a quick return to production in Libya, a move that's expected to reduce the global price of crude and help drive down US gasoline prices.

Companies, most of which withdrew their expatriate staffs when fighting began in February, said that Libya's oil installations appeared largely undamaged from months of warfare and that once peace was restored, production and exports should resume quickly.

"Our people are ready to go back to work when the conflict is resolved. From that point forward, they can return to production in four weeks or less," said Carmen Herrero, a spokeswoman in Madrid for the Spanish oil company Repsol.

Before the war, Repsol's joint venture with the National Oil Corp. of Libya was producing about 35,000 barrels of oil daily at the El Shararah oil field in the central Libyan desert near Ubari. The last word Repsol officials had from their Libyan staff, in late July, was that the fighting hadn't affected the installations.

"We have to see what happens going forward, the new government, the new authorities," Herrero said. "If there are no problems and people can go back to the country, there can be production in about four weeks maximum."

Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini, told Italian television Monday that workers from Eni, Italy's government-controlled oil company, were now in eastern Libya looking to restart oil production and transport quickly. Italy's presence in Libya dates to its brief colonial rule from 1911 to 1934, and Frattini told his countrymen that "Eni will play a No. 1 role in the future."

According to statistics on the National Oil Corp. of Libya's website, Eni was extracting about 196,000 barrels per day of oil from Libyan fields before the war. In addition, the company produces large quantities of natural gas.

A statement from the US oil company Marathon said it wouldn't consider returning its staff to Libya "until we could ensure the situation was stable and secure." It said that "speculation on a time frame for our return would be premature."

The statement added, however, that the company had begun discussions with the rebel National Transitional Council on the condition of facilities in the Waha field it operates jointly with Libya's national oil company.

Before the war, Libya provided about 1.1 million to 1.6 million barrels per day, roughly about 2 percent of the world's daily oil demand. But while that production made Libya only the world's 17th largest oil producer, it has the largest proven reserves in Africa and it played an outsized role in supplying Western Europe, where refineries easily process its lighter grade of crude.

Saudi Arabia stepped into produce more oil, but Saudi oil is more difficult for European refineries to process.

"There is a great incentive for the Europeans to get this oil back on line quickly because they've been hurt," said John Kilduff, a veteran oil expert for Again Capital, an energy-trading hedge fund in New York.

The conflict in Libya sparked a spike in energy prices in the spring, as traders fretted that the civil war could spread to other oil-producing nations. Economists now think that price spike significantly slowed U.S. economic activity in the first half of the year.

Kilduff said American consumers should see the impact of the return of Libyan oil in lower gasoline prices, even if the oil wasn't directly distributed in the United States.

"There should be a decent decline as a result of this oil coming back on line," he said. "Once you start to see the first … exports, you will see further (downward) pressure on prices rapidly."

Gadhafi and the opposition appear to have spared most of the nation's oil and natural gas infrastructure, viewing oil as a cash cow that must be preserved.

"I think certainly both sides saw the petrol dollars as the way forward, to placate the various factions within the country," Kilduff said. "The majority of the pipelines and other infrastructure are fine, and will be ramped up quickly."

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+34 # hms 2011-08-23 17:17
And we shall now watch as the greedy petro corporations scramble to stack their government with shills for their corporate causes and get on with the looting! GUARANTEED! Just watch. The same thing is going on in Iraq.

Always bet on corporate greed if you want to come out ahead!
 
 
+24 # cadan 2011-08-23 17:21
So i guess oil will come out of Libya.

But will whatever the next government make the same investments Gadaffi did into the country and the people? (He built the Great Man Made River --- maybe the most awesome water project in the world, provided universal health care, and gave all newly weds an interest free loan of $50,000, iirc. This came from oil dollars. Ironically, one of the reasons the rebels look so healthy is the social system Gadaffi set up. He also was probably the most progressive leader in the Arab world with regards to women's rights and women's place in the workforce.)

Or will Libya just be a colony again?
 
 
+15 # propsguy 2011-08-23 18:24
perhaps one day we'll learn that this entire rebellion was funded by the CIA to get Gadaffi out of the way of multi-national profits
 
 
+15 # heraldmage 2011-08-23 21:19
It was to protect the $ as the worlds reserve currency,
Libya had no debt Its currency is backed by gold. Gaddafi had implemented a policy requiring all financial transaction with Libya be done in currency back by gold or other valuable mineral rather the good faith of the USA.
While this is great for other economics it would be bad for USA. This is the 2nd country the USA has forced regime change because the $ 's status was threaten Iraq was the other Saddam was changing to the Euro when sanction were lifted. Which if the USA had not invaded they would have been.
 
 
+3 # rf 2011-08-24 06:14
Good info! Thanks!
 
 
0 # Sukumar 2011-08-25 18:49
We don't need Gaddafi or Saddam to destroy the US$. Our very own Tea Party has been doing a fine job at that, thank you!
 
 
+4 # Activista 2011-08-23 23:43
CIA was involved since Reagan - just google all the coups/uprising against Qaddafi -
NATO bombs, gunship helicopters, Obama drones - did 99% damage.
Rebels are looting. People are armed - and more fun to shoot then work or go to school.
NACO rebels destroyed Libya.
 
 
+3 # DaveM 2011-08-23 17:30
Funny....the price of gas went up significantly when the current spate of rebellions started in the Middle East. And now, just as a new government is about to take over in Libya (one presumably expected to be friendlier to the West), the price of gas just jumped 15 cents in one day. I suppose it's because Libya is such a small-scale producer of oil. Anyone else have any theories?
 
 
+6 # fredboy 2011-08-23 17:37
I assumed this was backed by oil interests, yet another step toward the grand prize: Saudi Arabia.
 
 
+13 # Tee 2011-08-23 18:26
The main industry of the US is tearing down everything. Examples are New Orleans (Katrina), Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya.

It's a shame to see us make shabbles out of Libya, a country that provided for it's people, and at the same time the US destroys it's own middle class in the US.
 
 
+5 # Glen 2011-08-24 09:39
Thank you, Tee, for bringing up New Orleans. It isn't just New Orleans of course, but that was the first major exercise in the use of domestic mercenary action, citizen manipulation, interfering with local authority and actions to save parts of the city, herding people out of town just as the Nazis herded people, and so on. Most citizens don't realize what happened there. There is a method to all this, just as there was in Iraq, and is continuing elsewhere, as you know.

If citizens think they are in control, New Orleans and protest marches are a good place to start in finding out the truth. The most recent RSN article on the FBI is also another bit of ongoing revelation.
 
 
+10 # John Talbutt 2011-08-23 18:52
There were moments of pathos watching the rebel celebrate today. Grab what you can guys because this is as close as you ever will be to having a say.
 
 
+6 # Activista 2011-08-23 23:45
Looting like in Baghdad.
 
 
+10 # Magars 2011-08-23 19:25
After this fast reaction of oil corporation to practically take over the petro business, only politically ignorant people will believe that the NATO crap and Obama's speeches about liberating the people of Libya were sincere. CLUMSY LIE!
 
 
+5 # Activista 2011-08-23 23:46
Quoting Magars:
After this fast reaction of oil corporation to practically take over the petro business, only politically ignorant people will believe that the NATO crap and Obama's speeches about liberating the people of Libya were sincere. CLUMSY LIE!

CRIMINAL LIE
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2011-08-23 19:34
Here's another nation which will end up in the sights and under the control of the biggest US Embassy and "Green Zone" in the world -it's not a million miles from Baghdad to Tripoli, what?
It's seems to me -if you follow the money and warped logic of the big picture- to be all part of a grand plan. After all, although I wish the rebels the very best in toppling Gaddaffi (with UN weapons both light and heavy if'n you please), I wonder what they'll do -or be manipulated into doing- next?
Muslim Theocracy? US Satellite run by KBR/Haliburton and secured or menaced by xe (formerly Blackwater)? Transition from a National Oil Company (as happened in Iran when Mohammah Mossadeq nationalized the resource for his county's benefit -and now look at the blowback) to a US ?European conglomerate? Or will the rebels continue to push for REAL freedom, and will they be permitted to?
And by the way, don't believe for a second the rationalization that the reason for the spring oil price spikes was Libyan unrest -it was just the justification for more greed-mongering , along with the BP-spill outrage.
Watch the next page of this serial folks; it could get REAL interesting; especially the rationale for "By whatever means necessary".
 
 
+11 # jon 2011-08-23 19:38
How much more blood will be shed for black gold - both our own, and our ostensible colonies?

(you might remember George Bush calling Iraq a "sovereign nation", whilst standing in Iraq, surrounded by Xe mercenary security guards. What an Orwellian Newspeak moment)

The sooner we develop alternative energy sources - not counting, of course, the most expensive source of all, nuclear - the sooner we will be able to wash the blood off of our collective hands.
 
 
+6 # ABen 2011-08-23 21:51
Well said! Go solar and get clean!
 
 
+3 # Mickeyfilm 2011-08-23 20:19
I*m about to make my 2nd trip back to Libya during the war. My first was last March. I'm making a film called BURNING GREEN. Previously I made a film in Libya called INJECTION. In it I seached for what caused the HIV outbreak at a children's hospital in Benghazi. I spent 5 years on it. Part of what I discovered was the fact that via Saif, Kaddafi's son, there was a "blood money" offer put on the table to help get the release of the Bulgarian nurses that the Kaddafi regime had sentenced to death in a trumped up charge. British Petroleum immediately via one of their executives who fancied himself as a modern day "Lawrence of Arabia" picked up on this and explored how BP could be involved. Saif indicated that his father wanted the same amount of money that he was having to pay the victimes settlement for the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing which was about 3 and a half billion dollars. BP discovered that they could get in on this for just under a billion dollars as a French group of constructions companies was going to put up over 2 billion and in return got the deal to build a nuclear power plant in Libya. For just under a billion in "blood money", BP, the folks that actually destroyed a Sea, got the exploration rights to Libya. But part of the deal was they had to get the convicted bomber of Lockerbie freed.
 
 
+4 # rf 2011-08-24 06:18
Leave it to the Brits to do what is expedient to help the wealthy crap class of that nation.
 
 
+2 # Mickeyfilm 2011-08-23 20:20
Well, guess what? BP pulled this off under the table and the convicted bomber, who killed nearly 300, was released as he was supposedly dying of cancer and had 6 months to live. It was suppose to be a "humanitarian" gesture. Guess what? 3 years later, he's still alive. Kaddafi even thru a party to welcome him on his return to Libya.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2011-08-23 20:52
Quoting Mickeyfilm:
Well, guess what? BP pulled this off under the table and the convicted bomber, who killed nearly 300, was released as he was supposedly dying of cancer and had 6 months to live. It was suppose to be a "humanitarian" gesture. Guess what? 3 years later, he's still alive. Kaddafi even thru a party to welcome him on his return to Libya.

Good to get this info "Mickeyfilm". I believe you indeed and full credit for reminding us that the "dying" Lockerbie bomber is still kickin' his heels up in our dust-obscured faces -I often wondered about that little deal!*
Again, only on RSN. Have you considered getting Amy Goodman interested in this perspective? She has the courage to get it out there even to an audience limited (but growing steadily) by the vapid twits who censor our infotainment quotient in the USA.
*B.t,w,, I am from Hawick in the Scottish Borders -but live in Oregon. Hawick is not a million rugby punts away from the small town of Lockerbie, where the people are still wondering what hit them that traumatic day.
Keep after 'em sir and I for one, would be glad to hear more!
 
 
+6 # Mickeyfilm 2011-08-23 20:45
What does this mean for BP, the company that destroyed a Sea? It means that they are not welcome at least in Libya. Amazingly, they are still welcomed in the US>
 
 
+4 # jon 2011-08-23 21:10
"Amazingly, they are still welcomed in the US"

Not so amazing if you consider that BP, and our corporatist "leaders" - for lack of a better word - are cut from the same piece of greedy avaricious cloth.
 
 
+13 # heraldmage 2011-08-23 21:04
When the people of Libya lose their USA equivalent $1,000/per month royalty for every person of working age plus free education & health care they will wish they hadn't allowed a few foreign supported rebels start an armed revolution, instead of peaceful demonstrations for power sharing.
Just look at the results of any other US/NATO intervention. The capitalist took over, put their puppets governments in place then moved in the mercenaries & private contractors to re-write the Constitution implement USA economic policy, privatizing everything,heal th care system, revise history & re-writing the textbooks.
USA/NATO capitalist have found a new model for regime change by supporting an armed revolt they can actively participant in regime change & charge new puppet government for military support. It worked in Libya because the opposition ruling counsel are all former USA operatives. Syria has experience many USA/Israel destabilization attempts that result in increased nationalism & popular support for Assad.The Syrian know this is just another attempt to force Syria to give up its claim to the Golan Heights.
So is NATO becoming a USA taxpayer supported mercenary group used by capitalist to force the privatization of sovereign nation's natural resources for profit of privileged not taxpayers?
We don't need NATO
 
 
+1 # Activista 2011-08-23 23:37
Battle for Libya: Rampant Looting, Gunfire in Gadhafi's Compound ...
abcnews.go.com › International9 hours ago – Rebel fighters are retreating into western towns and cities in Libya to regroup with weapons looted from Moammar Gadhafi's Armory while other ...
There will be long civil/tribal war - did not we hear the same thing about Iraq OIL from Cheney criminal co?
 
 
+5 # NanFan 2011-08-24 04:49
We humans are so sick!

I wept when I saw the rag-tag looking rebels in Libya cheering that they'd "won." I knew that all they would ever have is the make-shift clothes on their backs, guns in their hands, and the memory that many of their best people died for oil that will NOT feed their children or quell the dictatorial-typ e government that has always ruled when oil is at stake.

And the beating goes on and on and on!

And we will all die for oil, like it or not.

N.
 
 
+4 # gaia 2011-08-24 05:14
Where there's money to be made, our financial/milit ary elites have no moral qualms about sending OPEC (Other People's Expendable Children) to fight and die in OPEC (Oil Producing and Exporting Countries). Let's create peace by reinstating the draft with no exceptions for those "too rich to die."
 
 
+3 # Richard Bluhm 2011-08-24 06:45
... and they all lived happily ever after except that they couldn't help defecating where they ate so eventually it got soooooo deep that they couldn't survive there any longer so they looked and looked for somewhere else to go, but there wasn't any place to go so they all went the way of the dinosaurs. The end.
 
 
+3 # rsb1 2011-08-24 08:20
.. Lybian rebels = NATO MERCENARIES.. this is nothing more than Corporate-spons ored fascist rape of the Lybian people and the theft of Lybian Sovereign wealth. For the truth about lockerbie and PA109 see: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Libya-s-Blood-for-Oil-The-by-Susan-Lindauer-110327-21.html.

These atrocities will soon be coming to a county near YOU courtesy of your favorite "ABC Agency" of the U.S. government. By our complacency, WE have allowed ourselves to become nothing more than slaves and potential collateral damage to these same lying, greedy, "motherfrackers ". Follow the common thread of ownership of these Corporate raiders to understand and know the names of those truly responsible for this abomination.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2011-08-24 09:45
next stage is UN peacekeepers protecting "Libyan People" oil - from the rest of Libya.
This is MUCH worse crime than Iraq.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2011-08-24 13:17
Kucinich has deep and factual analysis -
readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/7156-what-really-happened-in-libya
 

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