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Monday, March 21, 2011     GET REAL

Libya threatens oil contracts with Western firms

CAIRO — Libya has threatened to sever energy contracts with companies from NATO states.


Officials said the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi has linked the future of energy contracts with participation in the NATO military mission against Libya. They said Tripoli was considering replacing Western energy firms with those from Brazil, China and India.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed," Libyan National Oil Corp. chairman Shukri Ghanim said. "If someone stood with you, you cannot tell him no."

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Ghanim said any foreign government that sought to oust Gadhafi would be treated differently from friendly states.

Many of the companies that were developing energy reserves in Libya were from such countries as Britain, Italy and the United States, whose militaries have been attacking Gadhafi regime targets.

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