GROWTH OF RESOURCE NATIONALISM IN LIBYA
1.(C) Summary: Libya has a long history of resource nationalism linked to the policies and rhetoric of the Qadhafi regime. Beginning in the 1990's, many of these practices were scaled back; however, the removal of U.S. and UN sanctions and Libya's attendant opening to the world have prompted a resurgence of measures designed to increase the GOL's [Government of Libya's] control over and share of revenue from hydrocarbon resources. End Summary.The cable goes on to laud the new "investment surge" of "more than forty international oil companies toil to discover marketable quantities of oil and gas", but warns of "nationalist rhetoric, policies" :
3.(C) With this inflow of capital, and in particular the return of international oil companies (IOCs), there has been growing evidence of Libyan resource nationalism. The regime has made a point of putting companies on notice that "exploitative" behavior will not be tolerated. In his annual speech marking the founding of his regime, Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi in 2006 said: "Oil companies are controlled by foreigners who have made millions from them -- now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money." His son, Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, said in March 2007 that, "We will not tolerate a foreign company to make a profit at the expense of a Libyan citizen."
4.(C) There is a growing concern in the IOC community that NOC, emboldened by soaring oil prices and the press of would-be suitors, will seek better terms on both concession and production-sharing agreements, even those signed very recently. -- Libyan labor laws have also been amended to "Libyanize" the economy in several key sectors, and IOCs are now being forced to hire untrained Libyan employees.
7.(C) But those who dominate Libya's political and economic leadership are pursuing increasingly nationalistic policies in the energy sector that could jeopardize efficient exploitation of Libya's extensive oil and gas reserves. Effective U.S. engagement on this issue should take the form of demonstrating the clear downsides to the GOL of pursuing this approach ....Fast-forward two years ...
WikiLeaks cable 09TRIPOLI867, Oct. 27, 2009, from the US Embassy in Tripoli
PETROCANADA CAUGHT IN QADHAFI'S CROSS-HAIRS
1.(C) Summary: According to the xxxxxxxxxxxx of PetroCanada, xxxxxxxxxxxx the Libyan government demanded PetroCanada cut its oil production due to misunderstandings between Libya and Canada over Muammar al-Qadhafi's aborted trip to Canada in late September.FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: PETROCANADA GM DETAILS RECENT ORDEAL
¶2. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx of PetroCanada, shared with Econoff his company's recent ordeal in Libya that began with a threat of nationalization, but which was pared down to an order by the National Oil Corporation (NOC) to cut production by 50 percent. He said PetroCanada and Hrouj, its NOC-owned partner, had actually surpassed production quotas for the past six months but the NOC had never asked them to cut back. Although the NOC never gave PetroCanada a clear reason for the production cuts (and may simply have been passing down an order from PM-equivalent al-Mahmoudi), xxxxxxxxxxxx believed they were linked to the diplomatic row surrounding Libyan Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi's aborted trip to Canada. xxxxxxxxxxxx noted that press reports had "spun out of control," alleging that the Canadian FM had planned to see al-Qadhafi on his stop-over in Newfoundland to complain about Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi's "hero's welcome."
¶3. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said the Canadian company was suddenly threatened with nationalization during the week of September 27 which was then pared down to the required decrease in production.
¶6. (C) In spite of the current dispute, xxxxxxxxxxxx said PetroCanada still planned to continue with its plans to drill 49 new wells starting in the first quarter of 2010.
¶10. (C) Comment: Libya's moves against PetroCanada, set against the backdrop of an escalating conflict with Switzerland, have left the expatriate business community on edge. Libya's willingness to explicitly link commercial contracts to political disputes has only added to the international energy companies' growing frustration with the Libyan business climate.Happily the international energy companies' growing frustration has now been resolved ...
Guardian : The race is on for Libya's oil, with Britain and France both staking a claim
The starting pistol has been fired on bids by Britain and other western powers to secure a slice of the oil prize in Libya ...
Rebel leaders had already made clear that countries active in supporting their insurrection – notably Britain and France – should expect to be treated favourably once the dust of war had settled.although there has been the odd wrinkle ...
NYTimes : Files Note Close C.I.A. Ties to Qaddafi Spy Unit
Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya’s former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country’s reputation for tortureLibya rebel commander contends was tortured, rendered by CIA
The top Libyan rebel military commander in Tripoli, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, dropped something of a bombshell in an interview with the New York Times yesterday: In 2004, he said, two CIA agents tortured him in Thailand and then "rendered" him to Libya. From that point on, he maintains, he was held in solitary confinement for the next six years.
Belhaj, known as "Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq" in jihadi circles, is the previous commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), "a jihad organization with historical links to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Egyptian al-Jihad organization".Never mind all that now. At least NATO got rid of that awful Qaddafi, who
Government House Leader Peter van Loan told CBC's The House yesterday that the Conservative government wants to extend Canada's military role in Libya beyond the scheduled end date.
Update : Chris Hedges : Here We Go Again