Libya: Is It All About Oil?

Libya is Europe’s single largest oil supplier, the second largest oil producer in Africa and the continent’s fourth largest gas supplier. So does it boil down to the people… or the oil?

(NY Times) The Scramble for Access to Libya’s Oil Wealth Begins

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

Published: August 22, 2011

HOUSTON — The fighting is not yet over in Tripoli, but the scramble to secure access to Libya’s oil wealth has already begun.

Before the rebellion broke out in February, Libya exported 1.3 million barrels of oil a day. While that is less than 2 percent of world supplies, only a few other countries can supply equivalent grades of the sweet crude oil that many refineries around the world depend on. The resumption of Libyan production would help drive down oil prices in Europe, and indirectly, gasoline prices on the East Coast of the United States.

Western nations — especially the NATO countries that provided crucial air support to the rebels — want to make sure their companies are in prime position to pump the Libyan crude.

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