Monday, June 17, 2019
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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

By Benoit Faucon

Libya hopes to offer more flexible and less punitive oil licenses next year, based on a new hydrocarbons law currently being drafted, the chairman of the country’s national oil company said Thursday.

Foreign companies frequently complain that punitive contractual terms, on top of serious security issues, are a barrier to investing in Libya’s vast oil resources.

NOC’s new chairman Mustafa Sanallah told a London oil and gas conference, that “once the draft [of a new oil law] is ready and we have a permanent government, we will do a new bidding round.”

“Hopefully by next year the situation will be very clear,” he said.

Najme Karim, who is in charge of the committee overseeing the preparation of the new law, said the legislation is designed to make contracts more flexible, particularly for non-conventional and deep water reservoirs.

However, violence has escalated in Libya as conflict between government forces and rebels has increased. Militants loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar are disputing the legitimacy of the current, Islamist-backed government.

Gunmen loyal to him attacked the parliament building in Tripoli two weeks ago to demand a power transfer and Thursday bombed Islamist strongholds in Eastern Libya.

Also speaking at the forum, Mounir Bouaziz, a Middle-East vice president at Royal Dutch Shell PLC, confirmed stringent contractual terms were a key factor in the company’s decision to relinquish Libyan blocks two years ago.

“We are engaging with the Libyans” over a possible re-entry in the country’s acreage, he said. Though security will be a factor, any bidding also “depends on the petroleum law,” Mr. Bouaziz added.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Categories: Libya, News, Press

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