A senior British Petroleum official on Thursday announced the resumption of oil exploration activities in Libya and said the oil giant will drill 17 new exploration wells in the North African nation.
Exploration activities were suspended in Libya last year due to the uprising against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Royal Dutch Shell had earlier announced its decision to halt oil exploration in the country due to ‘disappointing results’. BP signed a contract with former Gaddafi regime in 2007 to drill five offshore and 12 onshore wells in the country. However, they could not operate due to the civil war.
“We have lifted force majeure and started the exploration programme in Libya,” Jasper Peijs, BP’s exploration manager-eastern hemisphere, told an African oil conference.
He added: “Offshore we have acquired 17,000 square kilometres of 3-D seismic in the Sirte Basin, another commitment to five exploration wells and onshore we’ve acquired 14,000 square kilometres of 3-D in the Ghadames Basin and have a commitment of 12 exploration wells.”
However, he did not give a timeline for the drilling, but Libya’s National Oil Co indicated that BP would start drilling in September 2013.
Libya aims to raise its oil production to 1.8 million barrels per day in 2013, even though security in the country is still a concern.