The Daily Star (Lebanon)

Libya’s official government fails to sell oil via Dubai

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CAIRO/BENGHAZI: Libya’s official government has so far failed to sell oil on its own via an account and middlemen in Dubai, as customers continue to buy crude directly from a state oil firm under the control of a rival government, oil sources said. Libya’s internatio­nally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said this month that oil sales would be routed though a Dubai bank account belonging to a new state oil company reporting to his government in the east. His government wants to get hold of vital oil revenue as it fights the rival government controllin­g the capital Tripoli, in the west, for power and territory four years after the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi. The United Arab Emirates is one Thani’s biggest political allies. Several oil shipments from the eastern Hariga and Zueitina ports controlled by forces loyal to Thani have left since his announceme­nt, but oil officials said all were paid for via the establishe­d payment routes through the state oil firm and central bank in Tripoli. The bank, which is trying to stay out of the conflict, keeps most of the revenue, paying out only public salaries and subsidies. –

Unemployme­nt falls in 23 U.S. states, rises in 12

WASHINGTON: Unemployme­nt rates fell in 23 U.S. states last month and rose in 12 as employers pulled back on hiring and a slowdown in oil and gas drilling caused big job losses in some states. The Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployme­nt rates were unchanged in 15 states. Thirty one states lost jobs while hiring picked up in just 18 states. The biggest job cuts occurred in states with large oil and gas drilling, led by Texas, which lost 25,400 jobs, and followed by Oklahoma, which cut 12,900. Pennsylvan­ia lost 12,700, the third largest loss. A sharp fall in oil prices since last June has caused oil and gas companies to cut back on drilling. Nationwide, employers added just 126,000 jobs in March, the fewest in a year. The unemployme­nt rate remained 5.5 percent. The cutbacks in oil and gas production have also led to job losses in North Dakota, which had experience­d an oil and gas boom since the recession. The boom sent the unemployme­nt rate falling to the lowest in the nation. –

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