Libya's NTC sets up committee to probe oil graft

Reuters, Sunday 4 Dec 2011

Wide-ranging corruption investigations could lead to a re-allocation of lucrative oil contracts from the Gaddafi era

Libya's National Transitional Council has set up a committee to investigate corruption in the oil sector during the rule of Muammar Gaddafi, a member of the committee told Reuters on Sunday.

A wide-reaching probe of oil deals could lead to a re-allocation of lucrative contracts awarded to foreign oil majors under Gaddafi, disrupting the companies' plans to resume operations now Libya's civil war is over.

The NTC has been under pressure from political forces inside the country to look into allegations that millions of dollars were misappropriating from the oil sector by Gaddafi-era officials.

"This committee will study the old files of the oil sector and we are looking for corruption in the sector in the past," Salem Gannan, told Reuters.

The committee will function outside the structures of the oil ministry and the NOC state oil firm, reporting directly to the NTC, the interim leadership running the country since Gaddafi was ousted.

Its members include Gaddafi opponents who had been in exile abroad until February's revolution, and Libyan oil sector veterans.

Libya is home to Africa's largest proven oil reserves. The foreign majors operating in Libya before the conflict broke out include BP, Eni, Marathon Oil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total.

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