Talisman Energy Inc. is inclined to invest in Libya as its ruler Moammar Gadhafi works to shed his country's image as a pariah state. The Calgary-based producer is close to striking an exploration deal in Libya, giving it access to valuable oil reserves in North Africa, Talisman chief executive officer James Buckee said in an interview with The Globe and Mail newspaper.
In the past, Talisman ignored crticism following its investments in controversial places such as Sudan. However, last year, the Canadian company sold its Sudanese stake for $1.1-billion.
Talisman has been monitoring improved relations between Libya and the West, notably the easing of U.S. sanctions against Libya, Buckee told the Canadian newspaper. "We're trying to get signatures on a number of exploration blocks, so that we can go exploring there. It could be potentially a new exploration area."
"It's a transformation that Libya seems to have earned," said Edmonton Southeast MP David Kilgour, who headed a Canadian delegation to Libya some two years ago.
Canada lifted its sanctions against Libya in 1999, and opened an embassy in the capital of Tripoli in 2002.
Talisman played host to a dinner five weeks ago in Calgary for visiting Libyan energy officials.
"They came in to see us," Buckee disclosed to The Globe and Mail. "Whatever they've done in the past, they've now opened Libya up. There are favourable noises coming out of the U.S. and the U.K. It appears as if Libya is definitely trying to warm up relations with the West. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )