Sunday, February 03, 2013

US-backed Libyan Regime Seeks Saudi Penetration of Oil and Gas Industries

US-backed Libyan regime seeks Saudi penetration of oil and gas industry

February 04, 2013

DAMMAM – Rebel Libyan Oil and Gas Minister Dr. Abdulbari Ali Al-Arousi discussed on Saturday with Saudi businessmen in the Eastern Province development and investment in the oil and gas industry at the Eastern Chamber of Commerce and Industry headquarters.

The rebel Libyan minister called on Saudi companies to invest in his country especially in the oil sector. He noted the existence of promising investment opportunities in the sector, apart from the other economic sectors, which a number of foreign investors are vying to benefit from.

He said his visit was in coordination with Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi. He said the dialogue focused on coordinating with Al-Naimi on the means to benefit from the Kingdom’s experience and capabilities in the oil and petrochemicals fields. He further said that his visit to Saudi Aramco Saturday came in order to get acquainted with the possibility of benefiting from the experience of Saudi Aramco to develop the Libyan oil and gas industry. He expects rebel Libyan delegations to visit Saudi Aramco in the future to sign agreements in training and benefit from the existing systems in prospecting and production of natural gas.

Al-Arousi said his country’s move toward openness to the public and private sectors in the Arab world emanates from Libya’s need for support from its Arab brothers in all fields, like education, tourism, health and the infrastructure. He said there is a plan to establish an institution responsible for foreign investors’ affairs, especially Arab investors.

He said Libya is about to issue new laws to support investors in general and Arab investors in particular. There are numerous oil projects that need maintenance and numerous Libyan seaports in need for development. He said there are opportunities for drilling oil wells, building oil warehouses and oil storage tanks to increase capacity, besides providing the support services required for developing refineries and the establishment of petrochemical factories.

Al-Arousi moreover said Libya has a long coast that can be used for European and African markets. He expressed his readiness to remove all the difficulties facing investment. Other investment fields include the health and tourism sectors. Libya has five heritage cities, he said.

He disclosed that a Saudi investor intends to establish a sugar factory and another for cement. He added that talks are going on in this connection. He expects the procedures to be complete by mid-2013. The Saudi investor has called for the establishment of a free trade zone. It has been selected in Misratah.

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