Libyan council, UN discuss stabilization amid jostle for oil
Libya's new rebel-led authorities discussed the country's reconstruction and stabilization needs Friday in Paris with officials from the United Nations and other multilateral organizations and development agencies, DPA reported.
The National Transitional Council's Libya Stabilization Team outlined its priorities to officials from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Union, United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey, among others.
Aref Ali Nayed, a member of the stabilization team, told a press conference at least five foreign oil companies had returned to Libya since the ouster of Moamer Gaddafi.
"At least five companies are back," he said.
"We are seeing these companies as full partners whose interests coincide with the interests of the people," he added.
One of the five is Italy's Eni, the biggest producer of oil and gas in the country, which sent experts to examine the oil infrastructure as soon as the rebels entered the capital Tripoli.
He did not name the others, but said pre-rebellion contracts would be respected.
The six-month conflict in Libya brought oil production to a standstill.
A spokesman for the stabilization team later hastened to explain that none of the returning companies had resumed drilling.
Reports of French and British oil companies jostling for oil exploration contracts in return for their governments' support of Libya's rebels has seen some people question whether the foreign intervention in Libya was more about accessing oil than protecting civilians.
French oil giant Total and the Libyan rebels on Thursday denied a report in Liberation newspaper that the rebels offered France control of 35 percent of Libya's oil in exchange for supporting the insurgency.