OPEC recognizes Libya's opposition NTC

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has recognized the National Transitional Council as Libya's representative to the group, according to its Sec. Gen. Abdullah al-Badri.

“The UN tells us to recognize the [NTC]. So yes, OPEC will recognize it," said al-Badri, a Libyan national, following the United Nations decision on Sept. 16 to recognize the group.

UN members voted 114-17 to allow envoys of the opposition NTC to take Libya’s seat at meetings of the world body this week, including the General Assembly. Venezuela and Cuba opposed the move, and another 15 nations abstained from the vote.

In addition to approving representation by the NTC, the UN also dropped sanctions against Libya’s National Oil Corp. and Zueitina Oil Co., and eased restrictions on four banks in an effort to boost the nation’s recovery from the war that toppled Gadhafi.

Meanwhile, al-Badri said Saudi Arabia and its gulf OPEC allies, which raised their oil production to offset lost production from the North African country, are certain to gradually decrease their output as Libya's own production recovers towards prewar levels.

Production in fields in central areas of Libya could be back to prewar levels of 1.6 million b/d in 15 months, while other areas might take longer, said al-Badri who served as Libya’s energy minister in 1990-2000 and also headed its NOC until 2006.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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