Total, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it has not been holding contract talks with the Libyan rebels that toppled the Gadaffi regime and the company has also been quiet on rumors that the French oil giant will be given priority for new oil contracts when Libya starts increasing oil output.
It has been widely speculated that Total (TOT) stands to benefit once a new government takes shape in Tripoli because the company actively supported rebel causes. French newspaper Liberation reported on Thursday that Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) had agreed a deal in April to award 35% of Libyan oil to France in exchange for its backing, Reuters reported.
Total CEO Christophe de Margerie told reporters that he is unaware of the 35% figure. Total was producing 55,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Libya prior to the onset of political violence there in February. Before that, Libya was Africa's third-largest oil producer behind Nigeria and Angola.
de Margerie acknowledged that his company has had contact with Libyan officials, but that production contracts have yet to be discussed.