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Friday newspaper round-up: US, Libya, Gas imports

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US may act without UK against Syria; Libya’s oil output at near ‘standstill’; UK gas imports hit record high.

The US is prepared to act without the UK against Syria in retaliation for alleged chemical attacks after British MPs stunned their government by rejecting David Cameron’s attempts to win parliamentary support for missile strikes, the FT reports.

Libya’s oil output has crashed to a near standstill over the past year as warlords and strikes paralyse the country, tightening the screws on global crude supply as the crisis in Syria comes to a head. “We are currently witnessing the collapse of state in Libya, and the country is getting closer to local wars for oil revenues,” said the Swiss-based group Petromatrix, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Britain’s gas imports hit 1trn cubic feet in the first half of this year – the highest level on record – as North Sea production dwindled and cold weather boosted demand. Government provisional figures released on Thursday showed a 9.3% jump in gas imports in the first six months of 2013 against the same period of 2012, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Growing gossip that Chevron is sniffing around Ophir Energy helped shares of the oil and gas explorer put on 4.3p to 324.3p. Dealers heard whispers that the California-based multi-national energy corporation could be looking to take a significant stake or make a full-scale cash offer for the company whose African assets are said to be worth in the region of £10 a share, according to The Daily Mail.