The United States on Monday gave a green light to sales of Libyan crude oil from rebel-held territory, giving a potential boost to forces battling Muammar Gaddafi.
A U.S. Treasury Department official said Libyan rebels would not be subject to U.S. sanctions if they avoid entities linked to Gaddafi’s regime, which would allow them to sell oil under their control.
“The rebels are not part of the government of Libya. They are not subject to the sanctions,” the official said.
But the rebels, who retook a number of oil fields and terminals in eastern Libya over the weekend and were advancing west toward Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, must first establish clear lines of control and payment systems that do not involve Libya’s National Oil Corp, its central bank nor any other government entity, the official said.