TRIPOLI, March 13, 2013 (AFP)
Libya plans to invite bids from foreign firms for oil concessions by the end of 2013, Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arussi told AFP on Wednesday, adding that Tripoli wants to increase its OPEC output quota.
“We need some time to study the details, but we will probably announce the Arussi reported “strong demand” from oil majors seeking to work in Libya,
“a promising country with large surfaces which have not yet been explored, both on land and at sea.”call for oil exploration offers in the fourth quarter of 2012,” he said.
Libya’s last energy concessions, the fourth in the country’s history, were granted in 2007 for natural gas exploration.
The minister also said that Tripoli plans to request a hike in its OPEC production quota, from the current level of 1.5 million barrels per day to 1.7 million bpd.
We will ask for an additional quota at the next OPEC meetings… Our aim is to reach 1.7 million bpd,” he said, adding that initial talks with the cartel have already started.
Arussi said Libya needed the extra funds to finance post-war reconstruction following the 2011 revolution which toppled Moamer Kadhafi.
Libya’s oil output was reduced to almost zero with the departure of foreign companies and experts during the revolution, but it has since almost recovered to its pre-war level of 1.6 million bpd.
Hydrocarbons account for more than 80 percent of Libya’s GNP and up to 97 percent of its exports.