VIENNA: Libya’s former top oil industry official, Shokri Ghanem, has died in exile in Austria, apparently of natural causes, police said on Sunday.
Ghanem, 69, had been chairman of Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) before defecting last year several months after opponents of Muammar Qaddafi had risen up against the Libyan leader and begun a rebellion.
As NOC chairman since 2006, Ghanem helped steer Libya’s oil policy and held the high-profile job of representing Libya at OPEC meetings. As head of Libya’s OPEC delegation, Ghanem often visited Vienna for meetings under Qaddafi’s rule.
“He was found dead in the Danube river at 8:40 a.m. (0640 GMT). There is no suspicion at all of foul play at this stage.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.