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Robert Bryce is a Texas-based freelance journalist and the current managing editor of Energy Tribune.  His most recent book,Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence (2008) has been heralded as[…]

Bryce talks about the gradual opening of Libya’s resources.

Question: Will power shift from big oil producers to smaller ones?

Robert Bryce: Well I think what we are seeing now is really that it is jockeying for position is the consuming countries but more particularly the US are trying to adapt to hard prices but that is largely a function of the fall in value of the $ and that is causing a lot of concentration here in the US but among the big producing countries there hasn’t been a significant change in the countries with big reserves, the top three are still going to be Saudi Arabia , Iran and Iraq and followed by Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi being the key one in the Emirates and Russia and that I don’t see changing that list of character changing much, so the question is to me the more important question is how are those national oil companies in those countries and for instance in Libya to what extent are they going to open their markets and open their resources to foreign countries foreign companies so more specifically how are they going to let axon mobile in, are they going to let Chevron in, are they going to let Shelve in, what kind of tariffs were they going to be their demand in terms of revenue cuts in financing. They need the super majors to help them develop their resources, the question is has at what price and that I think is more important than any kind of jockeying among the various countries, it is a matter of how are the national oil companies the key national oil companies with the big reserves going to play with the international oil companies.

Question: What will it take for Libya to open itself up?

Robert Bryce: Well clearly Libya is already opening up and that has been happening over the last few years as Gaddafi and the Libyans have agreed through the renounced terrorism and own up to their involvement in the Lacabi plane bombing [phonetic] and so one so we are already seeing foreign oil companies getting in to Libya and bidding on tracts both for oil and gas, so Libya is definitely opening up and but there is going to be a significant lag time between Libya signing contracts and oil production on and natural gas production actually getting on stream there but between through out north Africa we are seeing that Algeria, Libya etc where they are looking at foreign investors, foreign investors are coming in and they are trying to develop reserves as fast as they can.

Date Recorded: 03/20/2008