Libya's Oil Industry pre-1969

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In 1950 a Constitution was established in Libya and King Idris declared the country's independence from the UK.[1]

Soon after the new Kingdom was created, the UK and the US obtained rights to build military bases in Libya. In 1956 the first concessions for oil exploration were granted to foreign companies and in 1959 the first successful drilling was reported when Zletin oil field, one of the largest in the country, was discovered by Esso Libya.[2] Libya became an oil exporter in 1961 with the completion of a 167 kilometre pipeline linking important oil fields in the interior to the Mediterranean Sea.[3] This marked the beginning of a spectacular production rise that would surpass 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 1969.[4]

With the discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959, Libya moved abruptly from being dependent on international aid and the rent from US and British air bases to being an oil-rich monarchy.[5] However, equity was lacking and popular resentment grew as oil exports grew, setting the stage for the young Colonel Gaddhafi's bloodless coup d'etat in 1969.[6]

References

  1. Everything You Need To Know About The Libyan Oil Industry”. Business Insider, 22 February 2011.
  2. Libya: What Happened and When ?”. Libya: Our Home, retrieved 19 October 2011.
  3. History, Kingdom Established”. Countries Quest, retrieved 25 October 2011.
  4. Everything You Need To Know About The Libyan Oil Industry”. Business Insider, 22 February 2011.
  5. The Discovery of Oil”. Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 25 October 2011.
  6. Everything You Need To Know About The Libyan Oil Industry”. Business Insider, 22 February 2011.