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Libya Oil Production Falters

TRIPOLI, Libya — NATO on Thursday dismissed Libyan claims that Britain had struck the North African country’s largest oil field, blaming Moammar Gadhafi’s forces for the attacks that halted production. The eastern Sarir and Messla fiel…

TRIPOLI, Libya — NATO on Thursday dismissed Libyan claims that Britain had struck the North African country’s largest oil field, blaming Moammar Gadhafi’s forces for the attacks that halted production. The eastern Sarir and Messla fields came under fire just as the rebels had sold their first oil cargo in weeks.

The Equator, a Liberian-flagged tanker that can transport up to 1 million barrels of oil, left the eastern port of Tobruk late Wednesday en route to Singapore, oil and shipping officials said. The shipment marks a milestone for the officials in Benghazi who have been steadily courting the international community in a bid to win firmer backing in their fight against Gadhafi.

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