Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has dismissed his prime minister and replaced him with an economist, following moves to reform the country's socialist-based economy. Among Kadhafi’s main priorities is the privatization of the oil sector.
Former economy and trade minister Shukri Ghanem will replace current Prime Minister Mubarak Abdallah Al-Shamikh. Ghanem is the former Director of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’ research division.
The privatization of the oil sector is forecasted to renew interest from international oil companies in OPEC member Libya. According to Kadhafi, the reformed oil industry will be managed by non-state owned companies but owned by Libyans in partnership with international firms, reported the Libyan News Agency.
Kadhafi nationalized Libya’s oil sector when he seized power in 1969. Soon after his coup, the leader initiated the socialist Green Revolution, ending private enterprise. The country’s current oil output is 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd), accounting for nearly 90 percent of Libya's resources. The state has proven oil reserves of 36 billion barrels.
Libya is Africa’s biggest oil producer and Europe’s biggest North African oil supplier. Since 1968 the state owned National Oil Company (NOC) together with its 33 subsidiaries has controlled the entire gas and oil industry, both upstream and downstream.
Since 1979, NOC has been allowed to enter into agreements with foreign oil companies. Numerous international companies are engaged in exploration production sharing agreements with NOC, the largest being Agip-ENI. —
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )