Reason for War Against Libya: Gaddafi Wanted to Nationalize Oil

The Libyan leader proposed the nationalization of US oil companies, as well as those of UK, Germany, Spain, Norway, Canada and Italy in 2009! On January 25, 2009, Muammar Al-Gaddafi announced that his country was studying the nationalization of foreign companies: "The oil- exporting countries should opt for nationalization because of the rapid fall in oil prices. We must put the issue on the table and discuss it seriously," said Gaddafi. "Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production," said the Libyan leader. These statements have worried the main foreign companies operating in Libya: Anglo-Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, US ExxonMobil, Hess Corp, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, the Spanish Repsol, Germany's Wintershall, Austria's OMV, Norway's Statoil, Eni and Canada's Petro Canada. In 2008, the Libyan state oil company, National Oil, prepared a report on the subject in which officials suggested modifying the production-sharing agreements with foreign companies in order to to increase state revenues. As a result of these contract changes, Libya gained 5.4 billion dollars in oil revenues. On February 16, 2009, Gaddafi took a step further and called on Libyans to back his proposals to dismantle the government and to distribute the oil wealth directly to the 5 million inhabitants of the country. However, his plan to deliver oil revenues directly to the Libyan people met opposition by senior officials who would lose their jobs due to a parallel plan by Gaddafi to rid the state of corruption.

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