BP Delays Drilling In Libya
This one is sure to get the attention of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
The Associated Press reported yesterday that BP has decided to delay drilling in Libya until later this year. The delay comes as Menendez and three other Senate Democrats are probing alleged efforts by BP to push for the speedy release of the convicted organizer of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing to ensure that their drilling contract in Libya is not put in jeopardy.
BP spokesman David Nicholas said on Wednesday that BP expects to begin exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Sirte later this year. The London-based company had said last month that it planned to start drilling within “a few weeks.” Nicholas said the company is “working through the detailed planning.”
Menendez and other Senate Democrats have alleged that BP worked behind the scenes to help coordinate the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison last year, in order to finalize plans for the $900 million drilling project in Libya. BP has dismissed the claims, noting that it voiced concerns that the slow release of al-Megrahi could impact the company’s Libyan drilling contract, but denying any direct involvement in the release. Al-Megrahi, who is from Libya, was convicted of organizing the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which resulted in the death of 270 people.