Sonatrach has signalled it will return to work in Libya, while OMV is planning its own exploration efforts in 2024.
Sonatrach chairman Rachid Hachichi visited Tripoli today for talks with National Oil Corp. (NOC). The Algerian company said this was part of its plans to resume its contractual obligations in the Ghadames Basin. Sonatrach holds Blocks 065 and 96/95.
The company has officially lifted its force majeure declaration on its operations in Libya. NOC chairman Farhat Bengdara held talks with newly appointed Hachichi. Bengdara welcomed Sonatrach back to the country and talked of his desire to promote a bilateral partnership.
The statement said the two sides would work together for Sonatrach to resume work in Libya. The two companies will hold technical meetings on November 8.
Bengdara and Hachichi talked by telephone on October 30.
Sonatrach is opening an office in Libya in order to oversee its local operations.
NOC has also recently announced that Austria’s OMV would return to work. A comment from the Austrian company confirmed it was planning to “resume operated exploration drilling activities in the Sirte Basin in Libya during 2024”.
OMV had held its licence under force majeure until September this year. It declared the contractual stoppage in 2014.
Bengdara called for international companies to lift their force majeure declarations in December 2022. Eni revoked its force majeure declaration in August, on the offshore A and B onshore areas, and the offshore C.
According to local reports, NOC plans to sign a licence for the NC7 area, in the Ghadames Basin, on November 8. Africa Intelligence, earlier this year, reported Eni, TotalEnergies and Adnoc were in the running for the area.
Libya is now producing 1.218 million barrels per day of crude, with 53,000 bpd of condensate. The World Bank has said that improving security in the North African state could help it double oil production by 2025.