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Libya acquires Eritrea oil retail net
Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Tripoli

Libya's oil investment arm abroad, Tam Oil Company, has bought oil major Royal Dutch Shell's storage and distribution network of petroleum products in Eritrea, government officials said.

The deal was signed in Tripoli but they gave no details on its value. Tam Oil is a subsidiary of Libya's Oil Investments Company, Tripoli's hydrocarbon investment arm abroad.

"The acquisition of Shell network in Eritrea put Tam Oil share market there at 54 percent, far ahead of Exxon and Total," one official said. Asked why Tam Oil picked such a market, an official said this followed a visit by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to the East African country last year on his way to an African summit in neighbouring Ethiopia.

News of the deal came five days after Shell clinched a major long-term hydrocarbon exploration deal with Libya. It joined several other European companies in the Opec-member country, North Africa's top oil producer.

Libya is breaking out of isolation as relations with the West improve following its decision to renounce banned weapons programmes.-Reuters

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