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Vol 37 No 5

Published 1st March 1996


Libya

Unsanctioned

US companies fear their Libyan oil holdings may be picked off by European rivals

When President Bill Clinton hosted President Jacques Chirac in January, a crucial item was missing from the summit agenda: Libyan oil. The omission is extraordinary as a row over the oil is set to strain Washington's relations with several of its European partners. A sanctions bill now working its way through the United States Congress will probably end up by banning foreign firms that do business in Libya from also doing business in the USA. Moreover, the International Court of Arbitration in Paris had come to a decision in November which allows the French company Total to acquire the Libyan oil interests of US chemical firm W.R. Grace without paying Grace a cent.

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