NOC says it is yet to approve Total purchase of Marathon’s share in Waha concession
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 24 April 2018:
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has stated that U.S. oil company Marathon had not obtained its prior approval for the sale of its share in the Oasis consortium to French oil firm Total.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla, said that “Any transaction of this kind must be approved by the NOC and the Libyan authorities,” and that, “any attempt to conclude the transaction prior to obtaining such approvals is in breach of the concession contract agreement. “
The NOC statement added that until the approval of the NOC is obtained, this deal must return the best result possible for the Libyan people. This, the statement continued, must take into account the security situation in Libya, the timely provision of operational budgets and future investment requirements for the concession contract.
The NOC added that within the framework of the NOC’s commitment to transparency as one of the Windsor principles agreed at the Windsor meeting in England last year, the NOC asserts that it will publish the details of the transaction once it is completed.
It will be recalled that in March Total had announced the purchase of Marathon’s 16.33 percent stake in Libya’s Waha Oil concession for US$ 450 million.
Total had said this would give it access to reserves and resources in excess of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and immediate production of around 50,000 boe/day. It would also give it an exploration potential in the Sirte Basin concession across the area of 53,000 km sq.
“This acquisition is in line with Total’s strategy to reinforce its portfolio with high quality and low-technical cost assets whilst bolstering our historic strength in the Middle East and North Africa region,” Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total had said on announcing the news.
“It builds on the Group’s long-term presence in Libya, a country with very large oil and gas resources, and demonstrates our commitment to continue supporting the recovering oil and gas industry of the country.”
In March, Total had said that the Waha Concessions produced around 300.000 boe/d, and due to the ongoing restart of the existing installations and the resumption of development drilling, the output was expected to ramp up and exceed 400.000 boe/d by the end of the decade.
The NOC (59.18%), Total (16.33%), ConocoPhillips (16.33%) and Hess (8.16%) jointly own the Waha Concessions. The Waha Oil Company, a 100% NOC owned entity, operates the asset.
Total has been present in Libya since 1954. In 2017, the group’s production was 31.500 boe/d. This production comes from the offshore Al Jurf field (Total, 37.5%) and the El Sharara onshore area (Total, 15% on block ex-NC 115 and 12% on block ex-NC 186).