US says Libyan rebels may sell oil Published 10:07 PM, 28 Mar 2011 Last update 6:56 AM, 29 Mar 2011
WASHINGTON - The United States gave a green light to sales of Libyan crude oil from rebel-held territory, giving a potential boost to forces battling Muammar Gaddafi.
A US Treasury Department official said that since Libyan rebels are not subject to sanctions against Gaddafi, they can sell oil under their control after retaking a number of oil fields and terminals in eastern Libya over the weekend.
"The rebels are not part of the government of Libya. They are not subject to the sanctions," the official said.
Ali Tarhouni, who is in charge of economic, financial and oil matters for the Libyan rebels, said output from the east Libya oil fields under rebel control was running at about 100,000 to 130,000 barrels per day. Prior to the political unrest, Libya was producing about 1.6 million barrels per day, or almost two per cent of world output.
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