Britain's government is convening its crisis committee to decide whether the military will need to evacuate almost 200 U.K. oil workers and their colleagues from other countries stranded in Libya.
Foreign Secretary William Hague told BBC radio on Thursday the COBRA emergency panel was scheduled to meet and would discuss evacuation options with Defense Secretary Liam Fox.
Hague said he did not rule out the use of British special forces to rescue the 170 British workers marooned in desert camps away from Libya's major cities.
The defense ministry said that ministers were considering "a full range of options" to mount a rescue mission.
Hague has canceled planned talks in Washington with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to handle the issue.