Socialist Worker

In a rush to grab Libya’s black gold

Issue No. 2267

The bullets are still flying in Libya, but the world’s biggest energy companies want to grab the country’s natural resources.

Libya holds more oil reserves than any other country in Africa—it sits on more than 40 billion barrels of “black gold”.

Giants, including BP, were forced to quit Libya as fighting began earlier this year. Now, they hope to pressure the TNC into giving them access to their vast reserves.

The Lambert Energy Advisory group can barely contain its glee. “There are tens of millions of barrels down there,” it salivated.

Libya’s oil production was at 1.6 million barrels a day when the uprising began. It then shrunk to just 60,000. Now, Italian firm ENI jostles with Spain’s Repsol and Britain’s BP for the spoils of war.

Gaddafi kicked out BP in the 1970s when he nationalised the oil industry.

Tony Hayward, BP’s then chief executive, flew to Libya with Tony Blair in 2007 in a bid to be allowed back in.

Blair embraced Gaddafi, claiming he was welcoming him in from the cold as a reward for giving up weapons of mass destruction.

In reality, the then prime minister was licking his lips at the prospect of BP being awarded 21,000 square miles of Libya to explore for oil and gas.

Britain’s rulers claim their motivations in Libya are honourable. In reality, they are as dirty as the product they seek.

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Tue 30 Aug 2011, 17:11 BST
Issue No. 2267
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