BP Returns To Libya: State Oil Firm

British oil giant BP announced on Tuesday that it would resume operations in Libya after they were suspended last year because of the conflict, the state-run National Oil Corporation reported on its website.

” BP announced the lifting of force majeure on May 15, 2012, and the return to its exploration activities in the onshore and offshore blocks that it owns in Libya,” NOC said.

The company’s decision was announced during a meeting with NOC chief Nuri Berouin and a “high-level delegation” from BP headed by vice president for exploration Mike Daly, the report added.

BP has been present in Libya since 2007, when the company signed a massive exploration deal with the state oil company.

It was preparing to start an extensive drilling programme on its acreage in the Ghadames basin in western Libya when it was forced to suspend its plans early last year when the uprising began that eventually toppled the since killed dictator Moammer Kadhafi.

It also halted indefinitely the offshore exploration wells it planned to drill in the Gulf of Sirte.

The 2007 exploration deal has faced criticism in the United States, with suspicions that BP lobbied for the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, to push through the agreement.

Megrahi is the only person ever convicted of blowing up a US airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people, mostly Americans.

Scottish authorities released him early citing compassionate grounds nearly three years ago. Doctors had diagnosed terminal cancer but he did not die until earlier this month.

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