October 14, 2011
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Libya's NTC Rules Out New Oil Contracts Before Election

Libya will not award any further oil contracts until a government is formed after elections, the country's interim oil and finance minister said on Wednesday.

"There are no new contracts in this transitory period for Total or for any company," Ali Tarhuni told reporters on the occasion of a visit to the country by an 80-strong business delegation from France.

"The only government that can give new concessions in oil is an elected government, and that would be after we have a constitution," he said.

The NTC is awaiting the fall of fugitive former strongman Moamer Kadhafi's hometown of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, before declaring the liberation of Libya and forming a transitional administration ahead of a general election.

NTC forces were looking to move in for the kill against Kadhafi diehards in Sirte on Wednesday after meeting little resistance and taking several key objectives.

Libya's oil production, which collapsed following the uprising in February, is expected to rise from current levels of around 400,000 barrels per day, to nearly one million by April, Nuri Berruien, the president of the state-run National Oil Corp (NOC), told the conference.

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