World Briefing: Apr 19, 2004

GADDAFI COMES OUT OF HIS SHELL

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may be secretive, but we know this: he has great timing. Just when OPEC cutbacks and declining reserves are driving up oil prices, Gaddafi's mea culpa on his weapons program and open invitation to foreigners to explore for Libyan energy are gaining Western oil firms' interest. First to benefit: Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate, which last month signed a $200 million deal with Libya's state-owned oil-and-gas company to search for reserves and build a liquefied-natural-gas terminal. Shell could use a new partner: this year it has twice admitted overstating proven reserves....

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