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Libya is accelerating reforms to its 50-year old hydrocarbons laws governing exploration and production agreements in the country’s underdeveloped energy sector, a senior National Oil Company (NOC) official said yesterday.

This comes as the US prepares to lift economic and trade sanctions against Libya, paving the way for energy giants such as ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco to move back into Libya and bid against their international rivals already in talks with the oil company.

An NOC board member said the hydrocarbons laws were undergoing a “thorough review”.