This article is the latest in a series aiming to inform Libyans and to reach policymakers on matters, which because of the conflict on the ground, may not get the attention they merit and this is true of this occasion.
Two issues are worth raising of perhaps equal import.
Calming Fears on Future Libyan Oil Policy
A series of reports over the last seven days, of which those below are a sample, suggest the need for the TNC to make a statement on how the new Libya expects to handle its oil and gas assets. While the oil and gas policy of the future free Libyan government is not known to anybody, the TNC is better placed than most to suggest what future course Libya is likely to adopt.
As the conflict in Libya draws out and no immediate resolution is at present in sight, the need for a competent body to speak on behalf of the Libyan people becomes more urgent by the day.
At the very least, the TNC could calm fears by confirming that Libya will continue to uphold and honour existing agreements. That surely would be the initial position of the new Libyan government whatever policy it sought to put into place after that.
Oil companies fear nationalisation in Libya, Sylvia Pfeifer and Javier Blas, Financial Times, 22 March, 2011,
Oil Companies That Gave ‘Bonuses’ to Libya Also Lobbied Against Disclosure Rule, Marian Wang ProPublica 27 March 2011
Gaddafi Asset Confusion and Future Asset Transfer
The second point to make is that, with the confusion as to the assets to be frozen under the UN mandate, see example story below, the people best placed to clarify the situation are those in Libya with knowledge of who owns what. The TNC would be well advised to establish a Libyan Assets Control Group which could help and communicate with parties seeking clarification on Libyan asset issues, and to assure the safe transfer of those assets in the post-Gaddafi era.
Libya Sanctions Cause Confusion, Cassell Bryan-Low and Deborah Hall, Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2011
US extends Libya sanctions to more oil companies, AP 23 March 2011, carried in the Economic Times of India
Information for Libyans
For Libyans seeking to know more about the oil and gas industry in their country and of the other companies located there here is a link with exhaustive information. And this is the regime’s website, Libyan Investment
The present article constitutes an editorial and represents no other view than the author’s own.
Malcolm D B Munro 31 March, 2011