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Libya says it eyes new investors for ENI projects - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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TRIPOLI, (Reuters) – Libya’s government has begun negotiations with Russian and Chinese energy firms on taking over ENI’s projects in Libya after the Italian firm withdrew its staff, a senior Libyan government official said.

“This withdrawal happened without warning and the Libyan state has started negotiating with big Russian and Chinese oil companies to enter into a partnership in these investments,” the official, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters on Thursday.

The official did not identify the firms with which the Libyan government was negotiating. Contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for ENI declined to comment.

ENI withdrew its international staff from Libya earlier this year after violence broke out when thousands of people rebelled against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The firm, along with other international oil companies with investments in Libya, has since establised contacts with anti-Gaddafi rebels based in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

ENI, present in Libya since the 1950s, is the biggest foreign oil company there, producing 270,000 boed (barrels of oil equivalent per day) in 2010. Its contracts are in force to 2042 for oil production and 2047 for gas.

Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said in May that ENI’s contracts in Libya are international contracts and “if they should be violated the result would be an international dispute that would be particularly serious for a country like Libya that has a lot of money abroad.”

Other big investors in Libyan energy include Royal Dutch Shell Plc, France’s Total , BP Plc , Norway’s Statoil and Austria’s OMV .

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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