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BP suspends drilling in Libya

Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:43 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- British petroleum giant BP said Monday it would pull some of its staff out of Libya, temporarily halting operations in the country because of rising violence.

The company said it was evacuating 40 staff members and their families, most of whom are in Tripoli, Libya's capital, KUNA reported Monday.

The move shuts down the firm's oil exploration on the mainland, but does not affect offshore production, BP said.

Oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange surged over the weekend on concerns that supplies would be disrupted. Prices jumped more than 8 percent to $93.20 per barrel Monday morning.

In London, Brent crude jumped to $104.65 per barrel.

BP returned to exploration in Libya four years ago after a 30-year hiatus.

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