Libya hopeful about its oil sector

Things should be 'very clear' next year, oil boss says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   May 30, 2014 at 9:54 AM
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LONDON, May 30 (UPI) -- The chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corp. said the government aims to hold an auction for new oil licenses once political hurdles are cleared.

Companies interested in investing in Libya, once a premier North African oil producer, have said the nation's troubled security sector and tough contractual terms are keeping them at bay.

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah told potential investors at an energy conference in London another bidding round is expected once a permanent government is formed and new draft oil laws are ready.

"Hopefully by next year the situation will be very clear," he said Thursday.

The latest monthly market report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Libya is a member, says the North African nation produced 238,000 barrels of oil per day in April, down from the first quarter average of 364,000 bpd and well below its 2012 level of 1.4 million bpd.

Optimism over a rebound in the Libyan oil sector increased in April when the NOC announced it lifted an emergency declaration on oil operations at its Zueitina terminal in the east of the country, where anti-government forces have control.

Austrian energy company OMV, one of the latest companies to report on Libya, said production from its operations in Libya has been shut down since the middle of March. Its low-end production forecast for 2014 assumed no production from Libya going forward.

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