Libya to open up gas fields to foreigners

Jul 01, 2007 02:00 AM

Libya is to invite international tenders for exploration of its onshore and offshore natural gas reserves, the North African country's oil supremo told.
National Oil Company president Shokri Ghanem said a dozen contracts will be allocated to foreign companies to explore 41 gas blocks in the sea and in the Sirte basin, 500 km east of Tripoli, in the central southern Murzuq basin and at Ghdamess, 700 km south of the capital.

Details of the blocks, varying in size from 2,000 to 10,000 sq km will be presented to interested parties in August in Tripoli and later in London, Ghanem added. Allocation of the blocks is expected in December.
Ghanem said it is the fourth time Libya has invited tenders for exploration of its vast hydrocarbon reserves, but the first time for natural gas exploitation.

OPEC member Libya is the African continent's second largest oil producer at 1.7 mm bpd. It also has natural gas reserves estimated at 1,314 bn cm.
At the end of May Tripoli signed a $ 900 mm exploration deal with BP under which the British energy giant will explore an area of some 54,000 sq km primarily for gas, but also in the hope of finding oil.

Source / Thomson Financial
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