Libya to boost oil reserves

Sep 27, 2005 02:00 AM

Libya wants to sharply step up oil exploration with a $ 7 bn (P 39.2 bn) programme that would boost reserves by 50 % over the next decade, a top official of the National Oil Corporation said. The nation, which is seeking foreign investment after the end of sanctions last year, also said it was targeting a rise in oil output to 3.0 mm bpd from the current 1.63 mm bpd.
“We want to discover 20 bn barrels of oil between now and 2015,” Tarek Hassan-Beck, a member of the management committee, told on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg.

Libya currently has 39.5 bn barrels of reserves. Libya has held the first round of bidding on 57 blocks in January and the second round is due to be launched on Oct. 2, he added.
“We plan to have around two rounds a year,” Hassan-Beck said, adding that 261 more blocks were remaining, not including the first two rounds. The $ 7 bn (P 39.2 bn) in exploration funds includes spending by international oil majors and the National Oil Corporation, he said.

Libya -- an OPEC member -- returned to the mainstream of international politics after it pledged to abandon weapons of mass destruction. The US government eased economic sanctions on Libya in April last year, opening the door for oil companies to return.
Occidental Petroleum and other US firms won most of the exploration licences awarded in January.

Hassan-Beck said Libya was seeking investors to increase output at its Zawia refinery, which currently has capacity of 120,000 bpd, by an additional 95,000 bpd.
“We are discussing with international companies... We are open to discussions on taking a stake in the refinery, we want investment,” he said. “We are also considering a package approach with upstream and downstream combined.” He hoped to have a deal on expanding the refinery by the end of the year, Hassan-Beck said.

Source: Mmegi
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