Tuesday, 29 May 2012

BP to start operations in Libya

BP is to start oil and gas exploration in Libya, which the company suspended last year due to the popular uprising against Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi. On Tuesday 29 May, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Nouri Berouin held a meeting with BP's deputy chief for exploration Michael Daly, at the NOC's headquarters.

The NOC released a statement saying: “During the meeting, BP announced the lifting of the state of force majeure starting on May 15, 2012, and a return to carry out exploratory activity at onshore and offshore areas belonging to it in Libya.”

For his part, Daly said: "The lifting of Force Majeure is a significant milestone in BP's plans to return to the exploration of onshore and offshore blocks in our existing EPSA contract. We look forward to working with the NOC and our partners in the Libyan Investment Authority to safely implement our drilling programme."

PB has no oil and gas production in Libya. In February 2011, it was preparing to start exploration in western Libya when it suspended the work because of the unrest. In 2007, the company signed a $900 million deal for exploration in the country and was planning to drill two wells, one offshore and one onshore.

Before the civil war, Libya was Africa's third-largest oil producer. Oil companies including Eni and Total have already resumed some of their output in Libya.

Sources: Reuters, BP, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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