By Dino Mahtani
Published: September 6 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 6 2007 03:00
Libya announced yesterday it had approved more than 50 oil and gas companies, including some of the world’s biggest multinationals, to bid on its first gas-only licensing round.
Libya said western groups ExxonMobil, Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Eni and Total had been nominated as potential project operators as well as Russia’s Lukoil, Malaysia’s Petronas, Brazil’s Petrobras and India’s ONGC Videsh.
Once a pariah state under international sanctions, Libya has attracted great interest in its oil and gas reserves following a rapprochement between Muammar Gadaffi, its leader, and the west.
The government has held three oil licensing rounds since 2004, but the next bidding round, in December, will be Libya’s first attempt at licensing gas-rich acreage.
European countries are increasingly turning to North Africa as a natural gas supplier, but companies from the Americas and Asia are also interested as the global market for gas tightens.
Dino Mahtani, London
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007