U.S. oil executives are arriving over the
in Libya to discuss a resumption of business.
Industry sources and Libyan officials said representatives from several
oil companies will begin streaming into the North African state over the
next week. They include Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and
Occidental Petroleum. All of these companies were operating in Libya before
U.S. sanctions froze their operations in 1986.
The return of the U.S. oil executives was facilitated by the lifting of
the U.S. travel ban on Libya.
The sources said they expect the Bush
administration to lift the ban on energy investments later in 2004, Middle East Newsline reported.
"While the ban on travel by U.S. persons is being lifted today," a U.S.
Treasury Department statement said on Thursday, "the prohibitions on
transportation-related activities, such as flights to Libya by U.S. air
carriers, will remain in place at this time."
The administration has already allowed U.S. oil firms to negotiate
lease renewals of holdings in Libya, many of which were scheduled to expire
in 2005. Washington has also granted permission for companies to conduct
technical inspections of properties in Libya.