BP ready for controversial Libyan drilling

LONDON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A controversial deal in the desert is set to come to fruition in December when oil drilling starts in the Libyan desert, BP expects.

Embattled energy company BP said it aims to start drilling for oil in the Ghadames Basin by December, London's Independent newspaper reports.


BP plans to invest roughly $1 billion during the next seven years to development Libyan oil reserves, including offshore developments, the newspaper adds.

U.S. lawmakers, outraged over the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, are investigating a Scottish decision in 2009 to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate terms.

Allegations were raised that the decision was somehow tied to the BP deal to drill for oil off the Libyan coast. The British and Scottish governments, along with BP, deny the claims.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J, who is leading the investigation, said after his September visit to Edinburgh that the decision to release the Libyan intelligence officer was "manipulated."

Megrahi was convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which crashed onto the Scottish town of Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988. A total of 270 people died in the attack.


Scottish officials said Menendez had his facts "entirely wrong."

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