Oil giant BP says it plans to start drilling off the coast of Libya within weeks despite calls from U.S. senators for a moratorium over the company’s alleged links to the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told NBC’s TODAY on Thursday that the U.K. government should investigate what role the company played in the decision to free Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in August 2009.
“We want a moratorium on the drilling [by BP] off Libya’s coast. We believe BP should not be allowed to drill until we have resolution of this,” she told the show.
Al-Megrahi, 57, is the only person convicted of carrying out the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.
He was released on compassionate grounds by the Scottish government after doctors said he was likely just months from death. Nearly a year later, he remains alive. (Doctors now say he could live another 10-20 years)
BP signed a $900 million exploration agreement with Libya in May 2007, the same month that Britain and Libya signed an agreement that paved the way for al-Megrahi’s release from a Scottish prison.
BP has admitted that it lobbied the British government over a prisoner transfer deal with Libya in late 2007, but denied playing any role in the actual decision to release al-Megrahi nearly two years later. MSNBC