Longtime Eni Exec Is Frontrunner to Become Libyan Oil Min-Sources

TRIPOLI (Dow Jones Newswires), Sep. 23, 2011

Abdurahman Benyezza, who has long been an executive with Italian oil giant Eni, is the top contender to become the first oil minister of Libya's new regime, people familiar with the matter said this week, a nomination that aims to reduce current confusion in the country's oil industry.

Benyezza is the most likely to get the job when a new cabinet is formed by the National Transitional Council following the fall of Col. Moammar Gadhafi last month, the people said. Currently, the oil portfolio is being handled by Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni.

"A preliminary cabinet list has been drafted with Benyezza as an oil minister," one person said. "But it's unclear if it will be approved and when."

The people familiar with the matter said the NTC was still debating whether it should appoint a new government when parts of Libya-notably the city of Sirte-won't be represented because they are still controlled by Gadhafi sympathizers.

A spokesman for Eni couldn't immediately comment Friday.

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