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New EU sanctions put the squeeze on Libyan oil sector

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 16:11

Luxembourg: The European Union added to its Libya sanctions list 26 energy firms accused of financing Muammar Gaddafi`s regime, a move that Germany said amounted to a de facto oil and gas embargo.

The 27-nation bloc had already imposed sanctions on Libya`s main oil group, the national fir NOC, and four of its subsidiaries in a bid to cut off funding from the vital industry to the Gaddafi government.

"We have added 26 more energy sector companies to our list. We have therefore imposed a de facto embargo on oil and gas," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.

"It is an additional step in the goal of shutting the financial faucet of the Gaddafi regime," he said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The EU imposed an arms embargo against Libya after Gaddafi used violent means to put down anti-government protests that erupted in mid-February.

Travel bans and assets freezes were also enforced against Gaddafi and 37 associates.

The assets and financial transactions of several financial entities were frozen, including the Libyan Central Bank and the sovereign wealth fund that manages oil funds.

According to the International Energy Agency, Libya produces 1.69 million barrels per day and exports 1.49 million in normal times, most of it, 85 percent, to Europe.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 16:11

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