Libya NTC rules out new oil contracts before election

Reuters, Wednesday 12 Oct 2011

Only elected government can grant new petroleum concessions, says Libya's interim oil and finance minister Ali Tarhuni

No new oil contracts in Libya in the transitory period. (Photo: Reuters)

Libya will not award any further oil contracts until a government is formed after elections, the country's interim oil and finance minister in the National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Wednesday.

"There are no new contracts in this transitory period for Total or for any company," Ali Tarhuni told reporters on the occasion of a visit to the country by an 80-strong business delegation from France.

"The only government that can give new concessions in oil is an elected government, and that would be after we have a constitution," he said.

The NTC is awaiting the fall of fugitive former strongman Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast before declaring the liberation of Libya and forming a transitional administration ahead of a general election.

NTC forces were looking to move in for the kill against Gaddafi diehards in Sirte on Wednesday after meeting little resistance and taking several key objectives.

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