The Address | Benghazi – Libya
LONDON – British Petroleum (BP) and its Italian partner Eni are expected to start exploratory drilling in Libya early in the first quarter of 2019, according to the chairman of the Tripoli-based National Oil Company (NOC).
“The first well will be drilled at the beginning of the first quarter,” Mustafa Sanalla told British newspaper the Telegraph.
“I’m optimistic. The Italians are courageous and have experience on the ground, but the return of BP is the most important thing. It sends a strong signal to other international oil companies that the Libyan market is promising”, he said.
BP’s comeback was preceded by a deal to sell 42.5pc of its 85pc stake in an exploration license that covers three areas — two onshore sites in the Ghadames basin and one offshore area in the Sirt basin — to Eni. The deal was announced by the two oil companies on October 8.
NOC is aiming to produce two million barrels per day (bpd) of crude by 2022, up from the current level of around 1.3 million bpd.
“We can hit the target – but the security environment has to improve,” said Sanalla. “If we have enough investment we can repair the infrastructure – especially the pipelines and storage tanks. If we focus on this we will add hundreds of thousands of barrels.”