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Libya: New oil and gas licences after a 16-year hiatus



Libya: New oil and gas licences after a 16-year hiatus

Libya is preparing to launch a new round of oil and gas licensing in 2024, after a hiatus of more than 16 years due to political and security unrest in the country.

The head of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC), Farhat Ben Guedara, revealed his country's plans to return to offering blocks for oil and gas exploration during his participation in Sira Week this week. This is to take advantage of all its hydrocarbon resources, which are the main source of revenue.

The tender, if held, would be the first since 2007. It marks Libya's return to business after more than a decade of political instability that wiped out the country's lifeline from the exploration and production sector.

Libya has the largest gas and oil reserves in Africa, in addition to its proximity to Europe, which could make it one of the continent's largest energy suppliers.

Return of investment in the oil sector

Libya has already signed an $8 billion offshore gas project agreement with Italy's Eni this year, which is expected to produce around 760 million cubic feet of gas per day, boosting domestic production and exports.

The Libyan oil deal with Eni faces several challenges, with many political factions rejecting it.


Farhat Ben Guedara said the NOC was working with Eni to reduce gas flaring in offshore production facilities as part of a $1.2 billion project.

Le chef de la National Oil Corporation a déclaré : « Nous venons pour un grand potentiel. Nous sollicitons davantage d’investissements en Libye, et l’accord avec Eni n’est qu’un premier pas sur une longue route vers davantage d’investissements ».

As a reminder, over the past 12 years, Libya has faced the reluctance and withdrawal of major international energy companies due to security instability. This has led to the collapse of the country's oil production. Planned projects are still on hold.

The National Oil Corporation plans to increase its production to 2 million barrels per day in 3-5 years. This compares with production of 1.13 million barrels per day, according to January estimates.

Libya remains politically fragmented. Allied Western and Eastern factions compete for power.