October 26, 2009 / 12:12 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ghanem returns as head of Libya's state oil firm

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LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Shokri Ghanem has been reinstated as chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corp., an unexpected return to the top oil post in the OPEC member-nation weeks after he left the job.

“Reinstated, and no other comment,” Ghanem told Reuters. He left the post in September for reasons that were never made clear and had been replaced with Ali Seghir Mohamed Saleh.

Ghanem, 67, visited London last week for the Oil and Money industry conference. He had given reporters no inkling that he would be returning to the NOC, saying he intended to carry out some consulting work and read more books.

Libya is home to Africa’s largest proven oil reserves and a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Ghanem’s exit followed an acrimonious dispute between Libya and Canadian oil explorer Verenex VNX.TO.

Other oil companies working in Libya have viewed Ghanem as a reliable partner in an often uncertain country, analysts said. (Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Barbara Lewis)

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