March 24, 2011 / 12:58 PM / 9 years ago

EU names oil firms on Libya sanctions list

BRUSSELS, March 24 (Reuters) - The European Union on Thursday named five subsidiaries of Libya’s state oil company subject to sanctions that aim to remove an important source of financing for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

According to the EU’s Official Journal a freeze on financial dealings will affect the following companies: Azzawia Refining, Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Company, Brega, Sirte Oil Company and Waha Oil Company.

On Tuesday, the United States listed 14 companies owned by the National Oil Corporation — including prominent operator Agoco, based in rebel-controlled eastern Libya — on its list of sanctions.

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For a FACTBOX on Libyan oil industry [ID:nLDE72M1UJ]

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Oil exports from Libya, Africa’s third-largest oil producer before violence broke out, have ground to a halt because of mounting difficulties with financing, sanctions and a lack of crude supplies.

The EU’s freeze on financial dealings with the oil companies went into effect on Thursday, adding to a list of more than 30 people close to Gaddafi as well as Libyan firms affected by EU sanctions.

EU measures already targeted several banks and foundations, including the central bank and the $70 billion Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund.

Libya, the world’s 17th-largest oil producer, had been producing 1.6 million barrels per day before the conflict began.

Some 85 percent of its production was exported to Europe, including about a third that went to Italy. The NOC accounted for half of the country’s output. (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak; Editing by Rex Merrifield)

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