I'm not sure where all this bitterness about Libyan oil is coming from. To hear Sciforums tell it, the idea of Libya selling oil to Western countries is exploitation, colonialism, invasion, or who knows what other terrible evil. (Presumably, selling it to China would be different.) The thing is, pumping and selling oil is a mutually advantageous relationship, both for the seller and for the buyer. Libya doesn't have a lot of use for nasty black sludge in the ground. It was useless waste material back in the days when people were more interested in locating water in the desert. But there are foreigners, all over the world and not just in the West, who have all kinds of uses for the oil and are willing to pay big money for it. And the Libyans, in turn, can use those massive profits to buy goods and services that they do want. (Or alternatively, it can swell corrupt Libyan officials' off-shore bank accounts.) Selling oil is good for the people who buy the oil. It's also good for the Libyans who sell it, provided that the profits are spent wisely. The point is, Libya wants to sell oil. They hope to get their exports back up as soon as the damage to the facilities is put right. It's in their interest. Italy has traditionally been the largest purchaser of Libyan oil, and that's unlikely to change. Germany buys a lot. France and Britain might get some new contracts. The United States has never been a very large purchaser of Libyan oil and I don't expect us to go rushing in now. It's possible, but I doubt it. Oil's fungible, so Libya's exporting into the world market would help us indirectly by reducing competition in the markets that we do buy from and thus by keeping world prices down. The new Libyan leaders have talked about punishing countries that didn't support their struggle by not favoring them in new export contracts, but I don't know if that will really happen. It's almost inevitable that China will continue to be an active purchaser of Libyan oil. This thread has lots of talk about the evil West dominating and exploiting Libya. That's just internet knee-jerk in my opinion. Post-Gadhafi Libya is probably going to be a disorderly and rather unpleasant and anarchical place for some time to come, as various Libyan factions contend for the future of their country. My guess is that the West, particularly the Europeans who are most involved with the place, will keep turbulent Libya at arm's-length, apart from buying oil from them and sponsoring some feel-good aid projects there. If the Libyans have any eventual complaints about how the West treats them, it might be that not enough was done to help them.