BP pulls some staff out of Libya over growing security concerns

City A.M. Reporter
OIL company BP said yesterday it is withdrawing some non-essential staff from Libya after the UK government warned about deteriorating security in the capital Tripoli.

“We are taking some non-Libyan staff out of the office in Tripoli following advice by the foreign office,” the spokesman said. The foreign office advises against all travel to parts of Libya.

The British embassy said on Friday it was cutting staff due to growing unrest in the capital, where armed groups seized two government ministries in late April to press demands on parliament, heightening fears clashes could break out in Tripoli.

A deal to hand over the Foreign Ministry to a committee was reached late on Saturday ending the sieges, but it was not clear whether the armed groups, who call themselves revolutionaries, would leave the capital for good.

Despite concerns raised by international oil firms operating in the OPEC producer, Libya has said foreign security will not be allowed at its oil fields.

In January, BP said it was reconsidering plans to drill for oil in Libya due to increased worries about safety.

This week, diplomats began to withdraw from the capital Tripoli, where security took a turn for the worse in late April when armed groups seized two ministries for about a fortnight to press demands on parliament.

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