Silence on Oil Deals "a Setback for Transparency"

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has told Reuters that it will not reveal the details of its oil sales this year.

While oil producers commonly keep details of crude deals secret, the agency reports that Libyan officials promised to publish details of Libya's oil deals following more than 40 years of secrecy under the Gaddafi regime.

An initiative to release information on prices and volumes of oil shipments last year was short-lived, with NOC chairman, Nuri Berruien [Nuri Balrwin], saying any secrecy clauses were introduced at the request of clients, not the NOC, and that most of last year's buyers would continue to purchase Libyan oil.

The state firm would resume publishing details on its yearly activities, he said.

"I have asked them (marketing department) to put all of the activities undertaken last year on the website, like an annual report. I am surprised it is taking this long, but it will be there," Berruien said.

Reuters also reports that plans to address past corruption have also halted; the committee set up by the National Transitional Council (NTC) in late 2011 to probe Gaddafi-era oil deals made little progress due to the slow handover of documentation, according to one of its members.

That committee was subsequently dissolved and no taskforce has yet been set up in its place.

A survey of oil traders showed that Italian refiners Eni and Saras would receive similar volumes of oil to last year, while Spain's Repsol would take the same or slightly more.

China's Unipec, which was allocated a "good share" last year according to the NOC at the time, was expected to increase its take to 6-7 shipments per month, equivalent to just over 100,000 bpd.

Details on allocations to trading houses had yet to emerge. However, an industry source said Glencore, which took the largest volume awarded to traders last year, would purchase cargoes on the spot market rather than under contract.

(Source: Reuters)

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