TRIPOLI (AFP) – Thirty-five companies, including major Western firms, have been pre-selected to tender for a dozen contracts to prospect 41 gas blocks in Libya, the north African country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on yesterday.
The tender process, which began in July, is the fourth hydrocarbon offer by Tripoli but the first for gas. Results of the tenders are due to be announced on December 9.
The exploration blocks cover a total of 72,000 square kilometres (28,800 square miles), including offshore basins near Sirte, in north Libya, and southern Ghadames and Marzuq, and the eastern Cyrenaica region.
Among the companies competing are Gaz de France, Britain’s BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Eni (Italy), Russia’s Gazprom, LUKOIL and NOVATEK, and the US Chevron and Pan American Energy LLC.
NOC has also drawn up a list of 21 companies which can apply for the right to invest in extraction projects, including Oil India, Japan Petroleum, Nippon Oil, Mitsubishi Corp and Korea Gas.
Libya’s gas reserves are estimated at 1,314 billion cubic metres, while OPEC puts the country’s proven oil reserves at 36 billion barrels. Libya currently produces 1.7 million barrels a day.