EU, oil companies begin Libya evacuations

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 22, 2011 01:14

 
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ROME — European countries sent planes and ferries to Libya on Monday to evacuate their citizens, and some oil and gas companies pulled their foreign staff out and suspended operations, as anti-government protests spread to Tripoli for the first time.

Many countries had already urged their citizens to avoid nonessential travel to Libya, or recommended that those already there leave on commercial flights. But as Libya's bloody crackdown against protesters moved to Libya's capital, countries and companies alike stepped up their contingency plans.

Oil companies, including Italy's Eni, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, U.K.-based BP and Germany's Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF, were evacuating their expat workers or their families or both. BP and Wintershall said they were temporarily suspending operations; Eni said production continued normally.

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