World Energy Sanctions

Published December 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Sanctions have been placed on several major oil-producing countries, including Libya, Sudan, and Syria. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains a complete list of U.S. sanctions. Note: this report is based upon the latest available information as of December 2000 and is subject to change. 


The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains a complete list of U.S. sanctions. Note: this report is based upon the latest available information as of December 2000 and is subject to change. 


U.N. Sanctions Against LIBYA "Suspended," But U.S. Sanctions Remain: 

Libya's relations with the international community have been strained since 270 people were killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  


On April 15, 1992, U.N. Resolution 748 imposed economic sanctions on Libya for refusing to extradite two Libyan nationals accused of carrying out the attack, and for not cooperating in the investigations of other bombings.  


In November 1993, U.N. Resolution 883 extended the sanctions to include a freeze on Libyan funds overseas, a ban on the sale of oil equipment for oil and gas export terminals and refineries, and tougher restrictions on civil aviation and the supply of arms.  


On August 5, 1996, the United States imposed additional sanctions on Libya.  


This action - the U.S. Sanctions Act of 1996 - extended U.S. sanctions on Libya to cover foreign companies making new investments of $40 million or more over a 12-month period in Libya's oil or gas sectors. This was lowered in August 1997 to $20 million annually.  


On April 5, 1999, U.N. sanctions on Libya were suspended (although not permanently lifted) after the U.N. Security Council received confirmation that: 1) the two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 had safely arrived in the Netherlands to stand trial before a Scottish Court; and 2) the Libyan Government had satisfied the French authorities investigating the 1989 bombing of Union de Transports Aeriens (UTA) flight 772.  


In April, 2000, Japan announced that it was lifting all sanctions it had imposed on Libya, and in May 2000, around 100 international (non-US) companies participated in a trade exhibition in Tripoli.  


Both the Arab League and the Non-Aligned Movement of developing countries have urged the UN Security Council to lift sanctions against Libya immediately and definitively.  


The United States modified its sanctions on April 28, 1999 to allow shipments of donated clothing, food and medicine for humanitarian reasons (trade in informational materials such as books and movies is also allowed).  


However, all other U.S. sanctions against Libya remain in force. U.S. oil companies are eager to return to Libya. On October 16-17, 2000, officials from several US oil firms (Amerada Hess, Chevron, Conoco, Marthon, Occidental, Phillips, and Texaco) attended a conference on Libya in Nice, France.  


In 1999, the US State Department allowed officials from Conoco, Hess, and Marathon to visit Libya to inspect assets they had abandoned when sanctions were imposed.  


Also, in early 2000, a team of State Department officials visited Libya to determine whether or not it was safe for Americans to travel there.  


US Sanctions Against SUDAN: 

The United States imposed economic sanctions against Sudan in November 1997, prohibiting trade between the two countries, as well as investment by United States businesses in Sudan.  


Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated that the sanctions were intended to "deprive the regime in Khartoum of the financial and material benefits of U.S. trade and investment, including investment in Sudan's petroleum sector."  


In February 2000, the Clinton administration broadened the sanctions to include a prohibition against U.S. citizens and companies conducting business with the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), an international consortium of petroleum companies currently extracting oil from Sudan.  


The sanctions, however, do not apply to the foreign individual parent companies of GNPOC, which includes Calgary-based Talisman Energy.  


In October 2000, the United States continued its efforts to isolate Sudan by successfully lobbying African nations to deny Sudan a regional seat on the United Nations Security Council.  


As of January 2000, Sudan's estimated proven reserves of crude oil stood at 262.1 million barrels.  


Current crude oil production totals 210,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and has been rising steadily since the completion of a vital pipeline in July 1999; production in the last quarter of 1999 stood at 138,300 bbl/d, increasing respectively to 165,000 bbl/d and 200,000 bbl/d in the first and second quarters of 2000.  


U.S. Anti-terrorist Sanctions Remain In Effect Against SYRIA:  

The United States has adopted economic sanctions that flow from Syria's inclusion on the list of countries designated by the Secretary of State as state sponsors of terrorism.  


Syria was one of the original countries to be placed on the list of state sponsors that was adopted in 1979 pursuant to Section 6 of the Export Administration Act. 


As a result of this designation, Syria was placed under a series of stringent economic sanctions.  


Most of them are now authorized under the Anti-Terrorism and Arms Export Control Act of 1989, which consolidated many of the previously enacted counterterrorism sanctions in legislation.  


The basic features of the sanctions are: prohibitions of U.S. economic assistance and military sales; controls on dual-use equipment which could support terrorism or military activities; and prohibitions on U.S. Government support for multilateral economic assistance to Syria.  


On April 24, 1996, President Clinton signed Public Law 104-132, making it a criminal offense for U.S. citizens to engage in financial transactions with governments supporting international terrorism.  


In Syria, this effectively curtails U.S. involvement, because the state-owned Syria Petroleum Company (SPC) controls all oil resources, and directly produces about one-fourth of Syrian output. 

Please note: the Iran & Iraq section were seperated by  

Al-Bawaba editor and are independent features. 

Source:United States Energy Information Administration. 

© 2000 Mena Report (

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