American energy companies are well positioned to make their views on Libya understood in Washington.
Two major firms based in the U.S. - Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum - have operations in Libya.
Exxon Mobil signed a deal with Libya’s National Oil Corporation in 2005 to share offshore exploration and production. Two years later, it signed another agreement for the Sirte Basin. It started drilling its first deepwater exploration well there in 2009.
Occidental, the first American company to resume oil operations in Libya after the U.S. government lifted sanctions, has permits to explore the Sirte basin.
Both companies have large lobbyist contingents, focused not only on Libya, but on worldwide concerns.
Exxon, which reported spending almost $12.5 million on lobbying last year, employs 11 lobby firms. Its corporate lobbyists include Theresa Fariello, former deputy assistant secretary at the Energy Department.
Occidental Petroleum, with a lobby bill of more than $2.5 million in 2010, has just one outside lobby shop - Hogan Lovells.
The firm has connections to the White House and the State Department. Charles C. Adams Jr., a partner at Hogan Lovells, was a bundler for the Obama campaign. Another partner, Robert S. Bennett, represented Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal.