Rebel oil shipment could mean 'Libya is back open'

A petroleum worker walks through a Libyan oil refinery in Al Brega, Libya. Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa and petroleum exports account for 95 percent of the country's export earnings.

MICHELLE WIESE: Good morning Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: Who's selling this oil? Is it rebels and who's going to be buying it?

WIESE: Well what we've worked out so far is that the first shipment, big fold by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company, which is a subsidiary of the national oil company that broke off quite early in the conflict, from the government controlled oil company. We know that Qatar is marketing the oil and that could suggest that it's destined for France or Italy, which are normal buyers of Libyan crude.

CHIOTAKIS: What kind of sign does this send to the international community about oil sales coming from Libya?

WIESE: Well, I think it really signals that if this shipment is successful, that Libya is back open for international oil trading.

CHIOTAKIS: There was some dispute about whether rebels would be able to sell the oil under international law. Has that been cleared up?

WIESE: According to the lawyers we've spoken to, because the money from the sales in not going to the government-held national oil company, or to the Gaddafi family, that therefore according to their guidelines that were clarified last week, that yes it's OK for these kinds of deals to take place.

CHIOTAKIS: Michele Wiese Bockmann from Lloyd's List. Thank you for joining us.

WIESE: Thank you.

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