Sonatrach has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on restarting work in Libya, which has been on hold since 2011.
Sonatrach head Toufik Hakkar visited Tripoli on February 10 to hold talks with the head of National Oil Corp. (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla.
The two men signed an agreement on Sonatrach restarting work in Libya’s Ghadames Basin. The company has stakes in Contract Areas 065 and 96/95. The two also discussed development plans for fields in the licences.
Hakkar talked of Sonatrach’s readiness to return to work and to develop training programmes and joint companies.
Sanalla welcomed Sonatrach’s decision to restart work in Libya. Sanalla visited Hakkar in Algiers in May 2021 to discuss Sonatrach restarting work.
Algeria’s APS reported Hakkar as saying Sonatrach intended to “resume activity quickly and start developing the discovered fields. Through this agreement, we want to define a future vision to prepare development plans for the fields discovered in the two areas in Ghadames.”
Hakkar’s visit to Tripoli is the first time that such a high-ranking Sonatrach official has visited NOC for more than 12 years.
While Sonatrach appears positive on the resumption of works in Libya, the country remains dangerous. Gunmen shot at a car transporting Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh in Tripoli early the same day.
It is not clear what the intent behind the attack was, although some reports have described it as an attempted assassination.
Libya’s eastern House of Representatives (HoR) voted today for Fathi Bashagha to replace Dbeibeh as prime minister.
Open conflict between factions in the west and east officially ended with a ceasefire in October 2020. Sporadic violence has continued, though, occasionally targeting the oil industry.
Updated at 11:56 am to correct headline spelling.