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Shell contracts valid, Libya says

Jan. 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Jan. 5 (UPI) — The post-war government in Libya told the Dutch ambassador existing contracts with Royal Dutch Shell were still valid, the country’s oil minister said.

As of November, the International Energy Agency said Libyan oil production was around 500,000 barrels per day, up from the 75,000 recorded in September. Before the war began in March, Libya was producing around 1.6 million bpd.

Production in the country is returning faster than most analysts expected when NATO forces established a no-fly zone over the country last year.

The new government in Tripoli had said it would honor agreements reached during the Moammar Gadhafi regime.

Libyan Oil Minister Abdurahman Benyezza told the Dutch ambassador that existing contracts with Royal Dutch Shell were still valid, the Platts news service reports.

Italy was one of the main partners in the Libyan energy sector. Platts quotes the country’s oil minister as saying it was reviewing memorandums of understanding reached between Italian energy company Eni and the former government as opposed to final contracts. No information was given for the negotiations.

The IEA last year called on member states to release oil from their strategic supplies to offset market disruptions from diminished Libyan crude oil production.

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