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No new oil concessions in Libya in 2011

Exploration & Production

Libya does not intend to issue any new oil concession licences this year according to the chairman of the countrys National Oil Corporation (NOC) Shokri Ghanem.

The North African state has not held an oil and gas licensing round for a number of years but has signed some exploration and production licenses with individual foreign firms in 2005, the first time foreign firms have been able to invest in Libya since sanctions on Libya were lifted in 2003.

Ghanem stated that Libya would not issue new oil concessions this year. Ghanem has commented that he wanted to focus on developing the concessions already allocated and that global energy demand needs to recover further before Libya can commit to a new licensing round, reported Reuters.

Companies already investing in Libya include BP, ExxonMobil, ENI, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil. The issue facing foreign firms investing in Libya us that oil and gas discoveries have been modest and energy companies have had to deal with a political and regulatory environment which can be unpredictable.

Libya is currently producing 1.5mn bpd, keeping in line with international commitments, but has the capacity to hit 2mn bpd. OPEC maintained production quota at 4.2mn bpd at the last OPEC meeting held in December 2010.