Libya Expects Increased Investment In Oil Sector

Published November 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Libya unveiled a long-term energy plan late on November 14th that includes $10 billion in foreign investments in oil and natural gas exploration over the next decade, according to the acting head of the state oil company.  


National Oil Company (NOC) Acting Chairman Ahmed Abdel-Karim said that: “We expect $10 billion in foreign investment in exploration and development projects as part of the plan for the next ten years.”  


The plan sees an investment of $6 billion in exploration, $3.99 billion in the development of existing crude and gas fields, $3 billion in refineries and $500 in the upgrade of a petrochemical plant. Abdel-Karim said that Libya hopes to “become the main recipient of foreign investment in the oil sector in the world.”  


He indicated that NOC was in discussions with foreign companies and expected to sign a number of oil and gas exploration deals in the coming months, after the company had organized road shows in 1999 and earlier this year to pique foreign interest in the country’s energy sector.  


Since the easing of U.N. sanctions against the country in April 1999, Libya has been eager to lure foreign capital to boost its lagging production capacity.  


In May, NOC had tendered nearly 70 percent of Libya’s oil and gas acreage for exploration, and on November 9th, the company announced a December 31st deadline for the submission of bids for three packages of exploration blocks, comprised of a mixture of prime acreage in the oil-rich Murzuk, Sirte and Ghadames basins and high-risk acreage in unexplored areas.  


Data rooms for the blocks are to close on November 30th, while data rooms for an additional 120 blocks available in the latest licensing round will remain open.  


Industry sources said that between 14 and 20 companies had been selected to participate in the licensing round, with oil majors such as Royal Dutch/Shell expected to form consortiums to bid on the packages. 


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