Fuel giants win first Libyan gas contracts

Gazprom, Shell, Sonatrach, Polski win first gas exploration contracts with Tripoli.

Fuel giants win first Libyan gas contracts

Libya on Sunday awarded four gas-exploration contracts to fuel giants Shell, Gazprom, Sonatrach and Polski -- the first ever given to foreign firms as relations warm between Tripoli and the West.

Russia's Gazprom was given three blocs with a total area of 3 936 square kilometres, while Algerian firm Sonatrach in association with Oil India and Indian Oil was awarded four blocks covering 6 934 square kilometres.

Anglo-Dutch company Shell was handed a two-block contract to explore a 1 790-square-kilometre region and Polish firm Polski was also awarded a two-block area to develop.

Gazprom was awarded blocks in the southern Ghadames basin, beating off competition from Gaz de France, Inpex of Japan, Russian rival Lukoil, Britain's BG and Polski.

Gazprom winning bid included ceding 90% of its eventual production to Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC).

Sonatrach outbid Gaz de France, BG, Polski and Germany's RWE, and proposed 87% of its production go to the NOC.

Sunday's awards by the NOC followed an offer of a dozen contracts to explore 41 gas blocks in the Mediterranean, the Sirte basin in the north-central area of the country, Cyrenaica further east and Murzek and Ghadames in the south.

The blocks cover a total of 72 500 square kilometres, an area the size of Scotland.

It was the first time Libya invited tenders for natural-gas exploration.

Libya, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is the African continent's second-largest oil producer at 1,7-million barrels per day. It also has natural-gas reserves estimated at 1 314-billion cubic metres.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Aralık 2007, 16:56
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