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Libya earns millions thanks to Limerick company's oil find

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Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

Libya has earned a lucrative 20pc return on its dormant stake in Limerick mining firm Circle Oil over the last 12 months.

The value of state-owned Libya Oil Holding's stake in Circle Oil has soared by a fifth since September 2013 following a major oil discovery in Tunisia. It is currently valued at around €28m.

Early results from drilling at Tunisia's Mahdia Permit suggests recoverable resources of around 100m barrels of oil. At Circle's Dublin AGM earlier this month, chairman Stephen Jenkins said the find was "transformational".

Libya owns 18pc of the business, though its ability to sell or buy shares has been frozen at the behest of the United Nations since 2011.

The UN implemented the freeze because it was a potential source of finance to the now-deceased Colonel Gaddafi and his family.

EU sources indicated that one of the reasons why it is still in place is that Libyan authorities have not yet clarified who controls Libya Oil Holdings. Libya remains in political turmoil three years after the end of the Gaddafi regime. Its elected government was forced to flee the capital last month under threat from Islamic militias.

Sunday Indo Business