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Lifting Sanctions on Libya-Good News for Western Oil Companies

In December, Libya announced that it was halting its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs in an effort to end its international isolation. This falls on the heels of its agreement to pay $2.7 billion to the 270 families of the Pan Am airliner that was blown up by a Libyan agent over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. It also agreed to pay $170 million to 170 families killed in the 1989 bombing of a French UTA airliner. This week, Libyan foreign minister, Abdel Rahman Mohammed Shalgam, will meet for the first time in 20 years with British diplomats in London. Although the U.S. has never officially severed ties with the rogue state, it placed a ban on travel, forced U.S companies to stop doing business there, and has no diplomatic contact with the Gadhafi government. A U.S. delegation is also poised to meet with the Libyans. This is good news for U.S. oil companies, including Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips, Amerada Hess, and the Oasis Group that were forced to pull out in 1986.