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Libya Oil Blockade Must End: US Envoy

FILE - The head of Libya's Government of National Unity, Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, meets with with U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland in Tripoli, Libya June 28, 2022.

The United States ambassador to Libya reiterated his plea on Wednesday to end Libya's oil shutdown, which has cost the north African nation a fortune due to oil prices boom.

The U.S. special envoy and ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, renewed his call Wednesday for the need to restore oil production in Libya.

US Envoy to Libya Urges Resumption of Oil Production, Elections
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"It's very clear to us that the current oil shutdown needs to end immediately," Norland said, speaking during a press conference in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

The degradation of Libya's oil sector is the consequence of frequent conflict-related sabotage, maintenance delays and the suspension of both production and exports by groups advocating for political or social demands.

Meanwhile, global oil prices have been rising — unevenly, but sharply overall — since December due to the war in Ukraine.

The price of international crude has roughly doubled in that time.

Libya's "sweet" [low sulfur content] crude has long been a focus of contention in the country's civil war with rival militias and foreign powers vying for control of the continent's largest oil reserve.

Norland also urged Libyan officials to move towards elections, which have been postponed since December as competing groups fail to reach an agreement in the latest round of talks in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.