Tripoli: Probably acknowledging India's principled stand in abstaining from a UN Security Council vote on a resolution seeking to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, this North African nation has now offered to award 'direct oil block contracts' to China, India and other nations it considers friends.
Libyan oil production has dipped to precariously low levels forcing upwards the price of crude in international markets, to the detriment of emerging economies.
Libya's leader of four decades, Col Muammar Qaddafi, has been locked in a month-long conflict with rebels.
The offer to award such ''direct'' contracts was made by Libya's top oil official on Saturday.
National Oil Corporation chairman Shukri Ghanem said Libya's crude production had dipped to less than 400,000 barrels per day, from about 1.6 million before the crisis, and he warned that oil exports may have to be halted altogether if output was not restored.
"Because of the situation, we will be looking at giving direct block contracts to countries ready to come and work in the country because we want to increase production," he said.