Libya's NOC renews Murzuq basin oil licenses

Repsol-YPF, OMV, and Total will take a lower share of oil production in their Libyan production licenses as a major revision term in their new extended contracts signed with Libya's NOC.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, July 22 -- Repsol-YPF SA, OMV AG, and Total SA will take a lower share of oil production in their Libyan production licenses as a major revision term in their new extended contracts signed with Libya's National Oil Corp.

The onshore contracts cover the Murzuq basin in Libya to 2032 with NOC and the new regime has come into effect as oil prices continue to soar.

Repsol-YPF, OMV, and Total will receive 13% of the oil produced for NC-115 and 12% for NC-186, adjusting them to the new oil price scenario. The blocks produce 300,000 b/d and this will rise to a plateau level of 380,000 b/d.

Repsol-YPF operates NC-115 and NC-186 contracts, which lie 700 km south of Tripoli and hold remaining proved reserves of 765 million bbl of oil. The NC-115 license will continue for another 15 years and different fields in block NC-186 will see another 5-9 years duration of production.

The companies will pay $1 billion in a signature bonus to continue exploration on both blocks for another 5 years, which could add to reserves and production. The bonus will be paid in three instalments.

"The plans agreed with NOC imply a gross investment in excess of $4 billion, of which 50% will be spent by NOC, to reach a plateau production level of 380,000 b/d," Repsol-YPF said. "This rise in production represents a major contribution to NOC's aspiration of doubling Libya's oil output to more than 3 million b/d in the coming years," the company said.

Repsol-YPF, operating in Libya since the 1970's, began this year to produce oil at the I/R field, Libya's largest oil discovery for a decade. The field was discovered by Repsol-YPF in 2006.

Total has a 30% equity share in Block NC-115 with Repsol-YPF holding 40% and OMV 30%. Block NC-186 partners are Repsol-YPF 32%, OMV 24%, Total 24%, and StatoilHydro 20%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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